Apple seeks to plan expansion at central Athenry site

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Tech giant Apple has re-applied to Galway County Council asking for a five-year extension of the building permit it got in 2016 to develop a data center in Athenry.

The building permit for the center is due to expire in September.

In 2018, the company decided not to pursue its plan to develop an 850 million euro facility at the site it owns in Derrydonnell.

At the time, he said the planning approval process forced him to make other plans.

According to the Galway County Council planning website, a decision is expected on August 8.

It is understood that the application to extend Apple’s existing planning application is intended to give it more time to identify a buyer for the site.

The development has been on sale for two years with a datahubwest.com website advertising what is on offer.

“The applicant intends to support the provision of the authorized works by identifying the parties interested in developing the project and who can then proceed with the authorized works within the allotted time,” indicates the request for extension of the building permit.

“It is expected that construction activities will begin as soon as possible after the identification of a suitable developer to implement the authorization,” he also said.

Apple declined to comment when contacted by RTÉ News.

The tech company first announced plans to build the data center at an entirely new site in Derrydonnell Woods near Athenry in February 2015.

The following September, Galway County Council authorized the conditional prosecution, but that decision was later appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Following oral hearings, the town planning council confirmed the authorization in August 2017.

However, the case went through a judicial review process initiated by a number of opponents and ended up being taken first to the High Court, then on appeal to the Supreme Court, before the objections will not be dismissed by this jurisdiction in 2019.

– additional reports Will Goodbody

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