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Monday, 13th January 2020

Data storage facility should be rejected – City Status Group

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The IDA Drogheda Business and Technology Park on the Donore Road.

“Proposal is a huge indictment of the failure of Government and IDA to attract job intensive industry to Drogheda and East Meath"

The Drogheda City Status Group has said that the huge data storage  facility  proposed for the IDA Drogheda Business and Technology Park on the Donore Road in Drogheda will  hinder  greater  Drogheda’s development  and  should  be  rejected.

They say that the proposal is a huge indictment of the failure of Government and IDA to attract “job intensive” industry to Drogheda and East Meath.

“This proposed data centre – if approved – would extend to over forty eight acres while creating only a handful of jobs post-construction,” said a spokesperson for Drogheda City Status Group (DCSG).

“Put simply, the Government and the IDA are treating the Greater Drogheda area with utter contempt in promoting this proposal, which – if approved - would ensure there would be no room at the Business Park to accommodate industries offering much needed substantial employment locally.  

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“With limited time available, we urge individuals, community groups and organisations to oppose this proposal by CAP Developments by sending their objections to Meath Co. Council on or before January 31st., including the Planning Reference LB191735.   Full details are on the Meath Couny Council website  or at their Navan and Duleek offices.”

The DCSG spokesperson said that people locally in Drogheda, South Louth and East Meath are tired of seeing IDA directing new overseas businesses to by-pass Drogheda and being established in Dundalk.

“Despite DCSG and others working to ensure the Government’s “Ireland 2040” Plan eventually endorsed Drogheda as a Regional Growth Centre, in practice, this has meant nothing to Drogheda so far – and people who face long commutes to Dublin for work or study should make their views known to local Government TD, Fergus O’Dowd and other local Oireachtas members ahead of the forthcoming General Election,” said the spokesperson.

“The Data Storage facility sought by CAP Developments LLC will extend to in excess of forty eight acres – that’s almost thirteen times the size of the Croke Park pitch.   At a time when climate change and energy conservation are foremost in peoples’ minds, these facilities consume enormous quantities of energy; employ few and generally the multinationals that run them contribute little by way of Corporation Taxes.   

“Whilst it may have the potential for a “rates bonanza” for Meath Co. Council, it would not deliver the much needed jobs bonanza for the Greater Drogheda area – for example, in the way the Chinese biopharma firm WuXi alone will create 400 jobs for Dundalk.   

“We have heard of data centres at which there are just four man shifts, mainly for maintenance and security.   Why hand over an entire Business Park for such a low grade employment opportunity?  Whilst the IDA may wish to bury their failure to attract industry to the Park over several decades with this proposal, the Greater Drogheda community and their political representatives should ensure the project is rejected.

“When the IDA Drogheda Business and Technology Park at the Donore Road in Drogheda was first opened, local people were promised it would create thousands of jobs,” said the DCSG spokesperson.

“Apart from one financial services business (State Street) that provides significant, quality employment, IDA has failed to secure any clients for their Business Park.   

“Now they are offering it to a business that will at best generate a few dozen jobs post-construction; devour massive amounts of energy; sprawl over land that should be used for labour-intensive industries and most likely pay token taxes.   

“It’s totally unacceptable, and little wonder that other countries are refusing to accept data centres.   The people of the Greater Drogheda area should do the same,” urged the DCSG spokesperson.         

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