Westmeath County Council has given the green light for a major film and TV studio, billed as the largest in western Europe, in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

A 25-acre site has been selected in the Lough Sheever Corporate Park for Hammerlake Studios.

The group behind the plan include senior film executives who have held roles at Universal Pictures, Disney and Troy studios.

They say Mullingar was chosen as the location because of its close proximity to Dublin, which serves as a major international travel hub.

They say the growing demand for new film and television content means that there is a global shortage of studio space and demand for these studios is exceptionally high.

The company says once completed the studio could employ up to 350 film crew.

A planning application was submitted to Westmeath County Council earlier this summer.

Today, at its monthly meeting, the local authority voted to approve a material contravention of the county development plan to allow the plan go ahead.

Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council Pat Gallagher recommended its approval saying it would attract further development to the county.

Councillors were unanimously in favour of the development.

Phase one of the studio development is expected to fully operational within 12 months once construction gets under way.