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Woodpecker threatens Facebook server hall project

Woodpecker threatens Facebook server hall project

Published: 16 Sep 2011 15:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Sep 2011 15:20 GMT+02:00

Plans to erect three major server halls in Luleå in northern Sweden, a project believed to be initiated by social media giant Facebook, has been halted due to the conservation of a rare woodpecker.

A private appeal has been lodged by a 68-year-old resident who claims the construction would harm wildlife in the nearby Natura 2000 area.

“If they wanted to protect bird life they wouldn’t have done this,” the man told IT magazine Computer Sweden.

Natura 2000 is a European initiative which works to protect important environments and their rare animal and plant species.

According to the Luleå municipality website, it is prohibited to build without a permit in a way that might affect the wildlife in any Natura 2000 area.

The man was not pleased with the verdict when this was first brought up in court and the permit was initially granted, and therefore appealed the case to the Swedish Land and Environment Court (Miljödomstolen).

His appeal was initially rejected on the grounds that he, as an individul, didn't have the jurisdiction to appeal.

Not wanting to surrender however, he took the matter further, despite his sinking popularity in the area, which has welcomed the Facebook project.

Many locals are upset that the man is stalling a project that is expected to produce hundreds of jobs.

“They want me to move out of here,” he told Computer Sweden.

Now, the case is in the hands of the Superior Land and Environment Court, which will decide on Monday whether one man should have the right to appeal in a case like this.

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:05 September 16, 2011 by JulieLou40
Stupid old bastard. Nothing better to do than screw all those people out of jobs. Facebook want to have business in Luleå. You can't get much bigger than them. And it'd be good for the area.
12:35 September 17, 2011 by Opinionfool
A hosting facility may have brought in a few jobs during construction but with remote administration actual and continuing jobs would likely be back in the US at Facebook's head offices. Maybe a few low-skilled jobs in Luleå for tape changers but the backup task is more likely to be done remotely too. Job gain in the town effectively zero.

A better business opportunity would be for someone to organise ornithological holidays for people to come and twitch this rare bird. Local hoteliers would receive more income, so too other local commercial operations. Plus there's no eye-sore of a concrete slab in the Swedish countryside producing serious heat pollution from the massive air-conditioning plant needed to cool server farms/hosting facilities.
15:57 September 17, 2011 by heu
@JulieLou40 It's easy to judge without knowing the facts... I mean, WHY does this man argue this project will be harmful for the birds? Maybe there's truth to it. In that case he is completely right.

And if Facebook wants to do business in the area, I am sure they can do it without harming the nature around.
09:42 September 19, 2011 by skosbo
they could build anywhere, so just move it. All the techno jobs will go to outsiders, maybe the landscaping and base work done by locals, then maybe just a few local jobs, possibly security and cleaning, plus air con maintenance. He was probably there before facebook even started, I'm on his side.
16:40 September 19, 2011 by Atlas
A project that is supposed to produce hundreds of jobs...please...as previous comments have mentioned, that is not entirely true...About 10-15 jobs will remain once if the server farm is build...the rest will be outsourced either to India or China...

Long term gain job - almost zero
16:45 September 19, 2011 by Svensksmith
I know that George Washington had wooden teeth, but a woodpecker....
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