The hearing about Apple’s proposed 850 million euro ($960 million) data centre in Athenry, Ireland has started, with local independent statutory body An Bord Pleanála beginning to hear submissions about the proposal.
The hearing — which will continue for the next few days — will see Cupertino representatives argue in favor of the environmentally-friendly 500-acre data center, which will help power Apple Music, the App Store, iMessages, Maps and Siri.
Locally-voiced objections have included worries about the potential impact it will have on local wildlife (particularly bats and badgers), the amount of traffic it will create, possible drainage issues, and concerns over the amount of power it will require.
Apple had originally planned to start building on the site by the end of last year, although this has been delayed. A second application by Apple to allow for a 220 kV electrical substation and a number of towers is also being considered at the planning board hearing in Galway. On top of this, Apple is seeking permission to build more data centers over the next 15 years.
In his opening statement, “Apple Distribution Ltd.” representative Rory Mulcahy said that Apple is glad to address the issues which have been raised.