Apple allowed to build its Irish data centre

After months of back and forth, Apple has finally gotten the approval to build its first data centre in Ireland.

The approval was given by the Irish planning body – An Bord Pleanala, Wednesday, despite being opposed by a couple of individuals and local businesses.

The planning body said the 197-hectares data centre, to be built in a forest on the west coast of Ireland, will significantly boost local economy. The opposition says the building will have a negative effect on the local wildlife, and could have a negative effect in terms of flooding.

The data cente's energy consumption was also mentioned.

It will be built outside the town of Athenry in County Galway, and will have a single hall, an administration building, and other associated developments, according to a Business Insider report. It will also run completely on renewable energy.

Apple planned on having eight halls, but for the time being it will only build one. For every hall it will need to ask for permission.

The forest, where Apple will be building its hall, is currently being used to grow non-native trees, by a company called Coillte. Apple plans on restoring native trees, as well as to create an outdoor education space for local schools. A hiking path is also planned.

Some 200 people will be employed on building the data centre, but once it's done – it will be operated by a much smaller number of IT workers. The company planned on having it up and running early 2017, but knowing that it just got approval now, it seems highly unlikely it will fit that timeframe.