AN Bord Pleanála has approved a 512-apartment scheme beside the entrance to Howth village - the second straight victory in the affluent Co Dublin fishing port for Pat Crean's Marlet Group.
The proposed development had attracted opposition from about 80 local residents, among them the partner of U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jnr and the wife of novelist John Banville.
But in its judgment, An Bord Pleanála said the proposed apartments were consistent with Government goals seeking "denser residential development consisting of apartments on public transport corridors within the built-up area of Dublin city and its suburbs".
The €135m development plan, unveiled in December by Marlet subsidiary Atlas, was filed under fast-track strategic housing rules that allowed the applicant to bypass the local authority, Fingal County Council.
The Atlas plan is bigger in height and scale than three previous rejected applications to build on the 2.68 hectare (6.6 acre) site near Howth's picture-postcard Dart station.
The site once housed the Techrete factory, the Beshoffs car dealership and the Howth Garden Centre. It is situated between Howth Road and the Dart train line, with a sandy beach beyond.
The proposed 512-unit development includes a gross floor area of 48,252 sq m. It would include 222 one-bed and 276 two-bed apartments in four eight-storey blocks, with 439 spaces for cars and 1,335 for bicycles.
In its judgment, An Bord Pleanála said the developer should ensure that at least 10pc of parking spaces have plug-in points for electric vehicles and the rest should be wired to permit power points in the future.
Last month, the board granted permission to Marlet Group to demolish the Baily Court Hotel in Howth and replace it with 171 apartments and six duplex homes.
Separately, An Bord Pleanála gave the go-ahead to a 197-unit housing plan for a 4.52 hectare site at Glenamuck, Kiltiernan.