Thursday, October 19, 2017

Irish Gov’t studying new data centre planning laws to avoid another Apple-like PR disaster

Government looking at legislation that would treat data centres as part of the country’s strategic infrastructure and speed up processes.

The Irish Government has been quick to react to Apple’s frustration following a nearly two-year delay on getting the planning permission to build a $1bn data centre in Galway.

According to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who has met with the Cupertino giant last week, one of the proposals under consideration is an amendment to the Strategic Infrastructure Act “to treat data centres as part of our strategic infrastructure and enable the planning process to work more smoothly”.

The government’s position follows the meeting between Varadkar and Apple, who told the Prime Minister of their frustration over the Galway data centre.

“They expressed frustration at the legal and planning delays that have delayed that investment,” Varadkar said.

However, he played down the hype around reports that suggested Apple had told the Irish Government it could cancel the data centre investment based on the legal battle the company has found itself into and the ongoing delay to its expansion strategy.

Varadkar said that despite the mentioned frustration, the company remains committed to making its investment in Galway.

Apple originally announced its plans to expand its data centre footprint in Ireland in 2015, with an agenda set to open the site in 2017.