Apple’s plans for a new €850 million data center in Ireland have been put on hold after nearby residents appealed the recent decision to grant Apple rights to build there.
The complaint cites increased traffic and noise due to construction, but also claims that nearby bats and badgers, protected species that live in the nearby forest, will be significantly impacted.
The planning appeals board hopes to have a decision on the objections and make a final call sometime this month.
Apple is hoping to use this data center to store European user data for online services like iTunes, the App Store, iMessages, Maps and Siri. The center is planned to be nearby a small town named Athenry in County Galway, right in the middle of Derrydonnell Forest, the one with the protected wild animals.
The center will be powered only by renewable energy, promises Apple, and will be built on recovered forestry lands. Apple also plans on restoring native trees to the forest if it gets to build the data center, as well as including an outdoor education space for local schools and a walking trail for the locals.
A member of Galway County’s government, Peter Feeny, said that Apple has already addressed all these concerns, including traffic issues, in its initial proposal, noting that traffic along the road used to be even worse than it is now.
“Once this building is built, you won’t be able to see it, you won’t be able to hear it, you won’t be able to smell it,” he told Business Insider. “It is on a 500 acres site of forest and it is hollowing out the middle of the forest and you won’t even know it is there.”
Feeny said that most folks in the area support the center, as it should bring more jobs to rural Ireland.
“Apple opened in Cork 35 years ago with 100 jobs, now there are over 4,000 there. This can be hugely beneficial to the entire West of Ireland,” said Feeny.
Here’s hoping it won’t wipe out the local bat and badger population, however. A decision should be made this month by the local appeals council.