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Apple has scrapped plans to build a £700m data centre in west Ireland

Apple has scrapped plans to build a £700m data centre in Ireland after objections by local conservationists forced the tech giant to put the project on pause for three years.

The iPhone-maker unveiled plans in 2015 to build a data centre in west Ireland, but appeals “chiefly from two individuals” prolonged the planning process, Reuters reported. The individuals were conservationists hoping to preserve a nearby forest, the Guardian reported.

Shortly before a Supreme Court hearing on the matter on Thursday, Apple issued a statement revealing it had abandoned plans to move forward with the data centre.

“While disappointing, this setback will not dampen our enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow,” the company added. Apple is currently expanding its European headquarters in County Cork.

Heather Humprheys, Ireland’s business minister, said there is “no disputing” the decision is very disappointing.

“The Government did everything it could to support this investment,” she added. “These delays have, if nothing else, underlined our need to make the State’s planning and legal processes more efficient.”