Apple has confirmed it’s to shelve plans to build a $1 billion data center in Ireland as a result of planning permission delays.
The Cupertino-headquartered tech giant first unveiled plans for a new European data center in 2015. It was to be based in Athenry, County Galway.
As part of a global expansion strategy, the data center would have been one of the company’s biggest operations in Europe and been run on green energy sources.
Speaking in 2015, Lisa Jackson – vice president of environmental initiatives of Apple – said the center would help to make the world a greener place.
“We’re excited to spur green industry growth in Ireland and Denmark and develop energy systems that take advantage of their strong wind resources,” she said
“Our commitment to environmental responsibility is good for the planet, good for our business and good for the European economy.”
However, the iPhone maker has faced a string of planning appeals by conservationists who believe that the data center would do more damage than good to the environment.
Yesterday, Apple attended a supreme court hearing to discuss the plans. Here, the company announced that it would not be going ahead with them.
“Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data center,” said the firm in a statement.
Regretting the delays, Irish business minister Heather Humphreys admitted that the government needs to improve its planning permission process for such projects.
“There is no disputing that Apple’s decision is very disappointing, particularly for Athenry and the west of Ireland,” she said.
“These delays have, if nothing else, underlined our need to make the state’s planning and legal processes more efficient.”