Council set for Amazon rates bonanza

By Mary Dennehy

SOUTH Dublin County Council could cash in on a new application lodged by Amazon for a fourth data centre in Tallaght, with the online super store already paying just under €3m to the local authority in developer fees.

Amazon first plugged into Tallaght back in 2011, when it bought Tesco’s vacated distribution warehouse off the Greenhills Road for a little under €7.5m, which saw Amazon pay €400k in developer fees to council.

Amazon Site 08

Two years later in 2014, the council granted permission to Amazon for a two-storey data centre on the nearby Shinko site on the Greenhills Road, which saw Amazon pay €920,556 in developer fees to the local authority.

This year, Amazon continued on its mission to fully connect into Tallaght and received planning permission for a third data centre on the old Jacob’s site on the Belgard Road, which saw the region reap more than €1.6m in developer fees.

And, this week, the electronic commerce company started the New Year by submitting a planning application for a fourth data centre on the grounds of the former Barretts’ site in the Greenhills Business Park on the Greenhills Road. 

The retail giant has been carrying out infrastructural works, such as underground ducting and cabling, in the Greenhills Road and Kilnamanagh areas, works which have caused traffic pressures and access issues for local residents in recent months.

Due to the nature of data centres, Amazon’s investment into the area is not expected to generate huge employment, unlike their predecessors Jacob’s, Shinko, the Tesco warehouse and Barretts which provided hundreds of local jobs in the past – a reflection of the changing employment landscape locally.

However, where the region can benefit is in the way of developer fees and annual business rates, with Amazon to date paying just under €3m in developer fees to the council on its three approved data centres.

When asked about rent rates, a senior executive officer in the council’s finance department, said: “until such time as the Valuation Office, which is independent of the council, determines the rateable valuation of the data centre, it is not possible to say how much the annual rates would be.

“In any event, such information could be commercially sensitive.

“That being said, having regard to the nature and extent of the development, it would be reasonable to assume that annual rates on a premises like this would be in excess of €100,000.”

The council has until February 24 to make a decision on planning application lodged for the former Barrett’s site.

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