An Bord Pleanála has overruled its own inspector to give the go-ahead for a nine-storey 144-bedroom hostel in Dublin.
In a positive decision for developers seeking to build high-rise buildings in the city centre, the board said the plan by Abbey Ltd for the site at Abbey Street Upper would not seriously injure the amenities of the area.
The board's decision overruled its own inspector and also set aside a decision by Dublin City Council which refused planning.
The City Council refused planning permission over the design, height, scale and massing of the proposed development, ruling that it would be visually obtrusive.
The appeals board inspector in the case stated that "while it is accepted that the proposed redevelopment of the site would make some contribution to the regeneration of the area, the proposed layout of the building would not make a significant positive contribution to the public realm along Abbey Street Upper".
However, in giving the plan the green light the board stated that it did not accept that the planned hostel building would be visually obtrusive.
The appeals board said the hostel's use "will contribute to the animation of the area and will provide an active use in itself".
The board added that other concerns raised by the inspector in the case "could be satisfactorily addressed by condition".
The board, in setting aside its own inspector's recommendation, also stated that it had regard to the potential for further development to the west of the appeal site.