Apple’s Huge Irish Data Center Has Hit a Snag

European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip (R) greets Apple's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Cook upon his arrival at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels on February 23, 2015. US tech giant Apple said today it would invest 1.7 billion euros (1.9 billion USD) in two data centres located in Ireland and Denmark, to boost online services in the European market. AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Emmanuel Dunand — AFP/Getty Images

Apple’s plans of building its first data center in Ireland is facing obstacles from locals concerned about its impact on the surrounding environment.

The $928 million center was slated to start construction late last year at a 500-acre site in the Derrydonnell Forest near a small town called Athenry, but groundbreaking was delayed after complaints about the building were filed to the local council, reported Business Insider.

The complaints, according to the Connacht Tribune, had to do with possible increased noise and traffic during the construction of Apple’s center. Some residents also feared that the data center would impact bat and badger species living in the forest, and affect a well that provided water to nearby homes.

The committee reviewing the complaints isn’t expected to make a final decision until June, denting Apple’s (AAPL) hopes for the center’s opening in 2017.

The data center was set to store user data from Europe, and for cloud services such as Siri, iMessage, iTunes, Maps, and the Apple Store, according to 9to5Mac. It was also seen as a part of Apple’s larger, nearly $4 billion-vision of building out its own data centers, and to move away from using Amazon (AMZN) Web Services.

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