Update: Galway Independent (via Business Insider) reports that a hearing date has now been set, for Tuesday 24th May. The venue has not yet been confirmed.

Apple’s plan to build one of the world’s largest data centers in Ireland hit a stumbling block earlier this month when local residents filed objections. The planning body, An Bord Pleanála, said that it would be pushing back its decision from February to May in order to consider those objections.

Business Insider reports that An Bord Pleanála has now written to Apple’s consulting engineers, asking them to address five concerns …

LocationThe board specifically wants Apple to provide more detail about why it has chosen to build the data centre in a forest near the small town of Athenry over other locations around Ireland.

Renewables: Apple has stated that it wants to use 100% renewable energy to power the data centre but the board claims “no site or project specific information regarding renewable energy projects is provided and details of how they might be connected to the proposed development is required.”

Environmental impact: Apple covered the expected environmental impact of the data center itself, but not the electricity substation that would be needed. The impact statement also covers only the first of what Apple hopes will be just the first of eight data halls at the site. Finally, it wants Apple to consider the revised impact should direct solar power prove inadequate (a reference to Ireland’s weather, perhaps …).

Protected species: An Bord Pleanála wants Apple and Arup to provide the results of the ecological surveys it carried out (specifically those relating to bats) as well as details on any further surveys it plans to carry out.

Geology: Apple and Arup have also been asked for more information about the geology of the site they want to build on. (Likely to ensure no unexpected long-term environmental impact.)

The planning body has given Apple until 7th March to respond.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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