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Environmental Impact Statement – Data Centre and Cogeneration Plant, Co. Dublin

Clifton Scannell Emerson Associates (CSEA) acted as lead consultant to attain planning permission on this innovative project for a 30.2MW data centre supported by an onsite cogeneration plant.

An essential element of the planning submission was an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as required under the planning and development regulations. CSEA managed the preparation of the EIS and engaged a number of specialists including Air and Noise Specialists, Ecologist, Archaeologist, Hydrologist, Hydro geologist and Landscape Architect. CSEA provided expertise in relation to material assets (water services and utilities), flood risk, traffic and construction process/impact.

The gas fired cogeneration plant forms a major element of the development and air and noise emissions were significant considerations.  Comprehensive modelling was undertaken to ensure that resulting emissions were comfortably within required limits. An appropriate assessment (AA) was also undertaken by an ecological sub consultant to assess likely impact on Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA’s) as set down in the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive. CSEA undertook traffic impact analysis at key junctions on the road network serving the site and it was proven that the proposed development would have limited impact on the existing traffic regime. In addition CSEA also assessed the site with regard to potential flood risk and incorporated mitigation measures into the site layout

The development of the design, preparation of all studies and drawings and consultation with all relevant bodies was undertaken in a relatively short timescale of 14 weeks. The project team were able to clearly demonstrate, within the submitted documentation, that the development was designed to mitigate and minimise environmental impact and that proper consideration had been given to all aspects. The proposed development, located in an urban area, was successfully granted planning permission by the local authority in March 2014 without any appeal by third parties.