An Bord Pleanála has approved the planning scheme for the Dublin Docklands Strategic Development Zone.

NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh welcomed the move, saying that the development of properties in the area under the control of NAMA receivers and debtors can now be accelerated over the coming years.

He said this will help to meet the emerging supply shortages in office and residential accommodation in the city centre.

"The decision marks a key milestone in the necessary development of the Docklands area, thereby enabling the maximisation of economic and commercial benefits to NAMA and the Irish economy," Mr McDonagh said. 

The Government designated the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock areas of Dublin city a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) at the end of 2012. 

Within these areas, there are sites which make up over 22 hectares of development potential, the scale and nature of which make it of significant economic and social importance to the state, Dublin City Council has said.

SDZs are designated by the Government on proposals from the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government. A number of special rules apply to planning and development in an SDZ. 

These rules make it significantly easier to obtain planning permission for development which is consistent with a planning scheme in force for an SDZ and prohibit planning permission for development which is not consistent with such a scheme. 

The planning authority may also acquire land in an SDZ, compulsorily if necessary.