Apple's Cork expansion to create 1,000 new jobs

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Apple has been given the green light to proceed with a major expansion of its European HQ that will bring 1,000 additional jobs to Cork.

According to the Irish Independent, An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission after dismissing an appeal against the development by local residents.

The tech giant is set to construct a four-storey office block with a 752-space car park, accommodating the expanded workforce at the Holyhill site and also supporting its economic development objectives.

The move will bring the number of people Apple employs in Cork to 6,000.

While Apple had initially told Cork City Council that it was aiming for the development to become operational during November, delays due to the appeal will mean it is unlikely to open until 2017, with construction set to take five months. The construction phase will employ 200 workers.

The residents' appeal, lodged by Thomas Murphy for 'Resident of Ardcullen' and signed by 32 residents, stated:

"We are objecting on the grounds that we are now practically living on an industrial estate, our homes being closer to the existing extension that the staff car park is to it.

"When we were housed on this estate our homes were facing a green space. This was the case for 20 years.

"However, we now open our curtains and front doors to an office block and the people working inside the building are in full view and clearly visible from our homes."

"The last extension took its toll on us and our families."

"The plan to now build a four-storey building will further diminish not just our view, but as our homes are two-storey units and the proposed build is to be four storeys.

"This will overshadow our homes and have a very serious impact on us as residents."

In an Environment Impact Statement (EIS), Apple had warned that "it is possible that if the development did not go ahead, there would be a potential serious negative impact on the local and national economy".

An Bord Pleanála concluded that Apple's plan would not seriously harm the visual or residential amenities of the community, and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience.

Craig Fitzpatrick, Newstalk.com 

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