Microsoft gets permission for the construction of the Middenmeer data center ‘at its own risk’

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The North Sea Canal Area Environment Agency has given Microsoft permission to start the construction of its second data center in Middenmeer in North Holland. It is not yet a final permit, so the start of construction is at your own risk.

Microsoft is allowed to start building its planned data center at Het Scherm in Middenmeer, on the Agriport A7 industrial estate in the municipality of Hollands Kroon. But for the time being, it is a so-called tolerance decision by OD NZKG. The service makes this decision because it expects that a definitive environmental permit for construction and the environment will be granted ‘in the short term’.

The service bases this, among other things, on the tests performed for fire safety and constructive requirements. A draft decision on the application will now follow shortly, which interested parties can view for six weeks. They can also comment on the decision. Finally, there will be a final decision, which can also be viewed for six weeks and can be appealed against. So, in the meantime, Microsoft can start building.

The construction of the data center has a long political history and is controversial. In July, the province canceled the zoning plan of the municipality due to concerns about the traffic situation around the data center. The municipality of Hollands Kroon reported that it was looking for a solution for the traffic flow with the province. Before that, it was unclear, among other things, whether emergency power supplies counted towards the permit requirement and whether the province or municipality would be the competent authority.

Location of Microsoft’s data center according to zoning plan