The Government’s response to the disaster that is the Apple/Athenry saga is to propose that, in future, data centres will be considered “strategic infrastructure” under planning laws. This will allow companies building data centres to skip the local authority stage, and proceed straight to An Bord Pleanála. Even if such a regime had been in place when Apple first sought planning, it would have made very little difference. It wasn’t a delay by Galway County Council that gave Apple the hump and jeopardised the project.
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