We (Irish) now need to tweak the planning process to include a time certainty to this process not just for Data Centres but for all large capital intense infrastructure projects.
Ireland's worldwide business reputation has been damaged by delays to the Apple data centre in Athenry, according to IBEC.
Apple wants to build the data centre in this forest.Business Insider/Sam SheadApple wants to build eight data halls on a 500-acre site in Derrydonnell Forest, which is owned by state-sponsored forestry firm Coillte, and situated roughly three miles from Athenry.
The US firm met five key concerns previous year, but were held up again by appeals from three local residents, raising doubts that it would ever be approved.
Both challenges were taken against An Bord Pleanala, with Apple Distribution Ireland, developer of the centre, as a notice party.
A spokesperson for Apple said that the company is not commenting on the judgment at this time. Objectors are likely to appeal the court's decision, meaning it could end up in the Supreme Court.
Apple was given the go-ahead to proceed with the development by Galway County Council in February 2015. A decision was expected to be made in July, but was delayed until October thanks to a lack of High Court judges.
However, Business Insider reports that Ireland's top court has now heard the case and ruled in Apple's favor, allowing the project to go ahead.
Apple intends to use the data centre to store European user data from services such as iMessage, iTunes and the App store.
The project, originally announced in 2015, was challenged by three objectors who put forward a review request to the An Bord Pleanála, an independent, statutory, quasi-judicial body that decides on appeals from planning decisions made by local authorities in Ireland. The facility will cost around £750 million and is expected to provide 100 jobs in the local area.