Planning board gives permission for Meath data centre


An Bord Pleanála has dismissed appeals by environmentalists to grant planning permission for a new data storage campus near Bracetown, Co Meath.

The decision by the appeals board now gives EngineNode permission to proceed with the project that is set to generate 500 jobs during the construction phase and around 275 jobs when operational.

Facebook already operates a data centre in close proximity to the EngineNode proposal.

However, even before works can commence, the costs to EngineNode will be high. This follows An Bord Pleanála's rejection of a first party appeal by EngineNode to set aside a condition in the original grant of permission by Meath County Council where the Council demanded €1.8 million in planning contributions towards a new road before work can start on the project.

The Council told An Bord Pleanála that the costs of constructing the distributor road will come to €12.8m.

The appeals board has ruled that the condition demanding the €1.85m be retained.

The company also faces a hefty bill towards the financing of the Navan to Dublin rail-line Phase 1 - Clonsilla to Dunboyne. The Council initially put the financial contribution towards the rail-line at €2.29m that can be paid in phases.

The senior appeals board inspector in the case, Karla McBride, agreed with the €2.29m contribution and the board has ruled that the payment will be in accordance with the Council's Supplementary Development Contributions Scheme.