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California clears way for Steve Jobs' 'private Apple spaceship'

Council rushes through giant glass doughnut campus

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Apple's giant glass doughnut with apricot groves will be fast-tracked through the planning system, Cupertino City Council announced, smoothing the approval process for its 3 million square foot (278,709m2) Campus 2 building.

The move comes six weeks after Apple buried its neighbours in publicity material explaining how great the new site will look and describing it as a "spaceship" in an effort to quell complaints that could affect the planning consultation.

Apple HQ 1, credit Cupertino Council

Apple's glowing doughnut office will have its planning process streamlined

Cupertino locals had complained that the 13,000 employees who will work in the glowy doughnut office will bring traffic and noise into the area without adding any amenities for locals. The gyms, restaurants and groves of apricot trees will be off bounds to normals.

These complaints will still be weighed in the process but the fast-tracking will make the process of reviewing any challenges a lot quicker.

Governor of California Jerry Brown stepped in to say that the Apple project had been approved for the streamlined treatment because of the green tech involved.

"Apple's state-of-the art campus brings at least $100m in investment to California and generates no additional greenhouse gas emissions," Jerry Brown told the Silicon Valley Times, listing two of the requirements Apple had met to qualify under the law. "On-site fuel cells and 650,000 square feet of solar panels will provide clean, renewable energy for more than 12,000 Apple employees on the new campus."

The approval for fast-tracking will not change the start date of the project – which is still projected to be mid-2013, with the building to be made ready by 2015.

The cost of Campus 2, which was designed by British architect Norman Foster, is unknown. ®

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