Amazon’s plans for a huge €300m-plus data centre on the site of the former Jacob’s biscuit site in south Dublin should be carefully assessed so they don’t impact any future housing schemes beside it, Irish Life Assurance has told An Bord Pleanala.

The financial services firm has appealed a decision by South County Dublin Council to approve planning permission for the massive 23,283 sq m (250,616 sq ft) data centre at the site in Tallaght.


Amazon has invested heavily in building data centres in Dublin.


Amazon already has a data centre at the location, which is housed in a 20,892 sq m (225,000 sq ft) former factory building on the site, known as Building A.

A property investment fund controlled by Irish Life Assurance – now part of Canadian firm Great West Lifeco – owns land next to the old Jacob’s site.

It said it may seek to build houses on the site in the future and is seeking assurances that the construction of the new data centre facility won’t cause undue noise that might affect future residents.

Irish Life Assurance said that it has no objections to the development of the data centre itself, but is concerned about potential adverse noise impacts for its site.

The land controlled by Irish Life Assurance is next to the Luas Red Line, and is bounded by a proposed long-term, high-capacity public transport route, and the greater Dublin cycle network, its planner has told An Bord Pleanala.

Although the land is located in an area dominated by business use, residential development is, in principle, allowed there.

“There is an acknowledged need to increase housing output in light of the current shortage of housing,” noted Irish Life’s agent, Sheehan Planning in a submission to the planning watchdog.

“This urgent need has been addressed in recent and emerging government planning policy and guidelines, particularly for locations with good public transport accessibility beside urban centres,” it added. “We believe that the potential of such lands to accommodate residential development should form part of the assessment of adjacent applications, in line with policy and zoning.”

It has asked An Bord Pleanala to attach conditions to any planning permission for the latest Amazon development that will mitigate noise in order to “protect the future residential amenity” of the Irish Life site.

The electricity grid connection to the overall Amazon site is currently being upgraded

Power consumption for the existing Building A and the new site is expected to top 83MW.

Meanwhile, Facebook yesterday opened their own new €300m data centre in Clonee, Co Meath.


Author: John Mulligan

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