MKO acted as planning consultants on Apple Computer’s first phase of an €850 million data centre, in Derrydonnell, Athenry, Co. Galway.

The €850 million multi-phase data centre development, was intended to serve Apple’s European users, and in total extended to 8 data halls (each 330m x 120m), and included a logistics centre, office accommodation, 220kV electricity substation, and 2 No. looped underground connections to 220kV overhead lines.

MKO provides devised the project planning strategy, and remained involved throughout the planning process up to and including the oral hearing, which was held by An Bord Pleanála.

The development required two separate planning permission applications. The first entailed a planning application to Galway County Council for the first data hall, logistics centre, office accommodation and ancillary works. The second entailed an application being made directly to An Bord Pleanála under Section 182A for the 220kV electricity transmission infrastructure. Galway County Council’s decision to grant planning permission was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála, who then dealt with the S.182A application and appeal in parallel.

The S182A planning application to An Bord Pleanála was submitted in February 2016, and granted planning permission in August 2016. The appeal of Galway County Council’s grant of planning permission was lodged with An Bord Pleanála in September 2015, and was also granted in August 2016.