Apple has been given the green light to build the first data hall for a huge new data centre on the west coast of Ireland.
Irish planning body An Bord Pleanála gave Apple’s first data hall the go-ahead on Friday despite opposition from a number of individuals and local businesses.
The data centre will be built in the middle of a forest just outside the small town of Athenry in County Galway.
Apple has received planning permission to build just one data hall but it hopes to build a total of eight on the site over the next 15 years. It will have to apply for planning permission every time it wants to open a new data hall.
Apple wants to use the data centre to store European user data and to help power online services including the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, Maps, and Siri for customers across Europe, according to a press release announcing the development in February 2015.
The Cupertino company was hoping to have the facility up and running by early 2017 but that target date now looks unrealistic given Apple is yet to start any building work.
Some 5,500 of Apple’s 18,300 European staff are based in Ireland, which is also home to its European headquarters. The company plans to hire an additional 1,000 staff in Ireland before 2017.
Business Insider contacted Apple about the data centre completion date but did not immediately hear back.