Havering LBC as the planning authority were told that plans for the£118m scheme submitted by Romford Developments for Savacentre and Stannifer could proceed.
Jean Mitchell, chair of the development control sub-committee, said: 'We are delighted that the Government Office for London decided to allow the council to approve the application at a local level which is not always the case for schemes of this size.
'We are also pleased that the hard work put into ensuring the submitted application was right for Romford and in line with the government's key planning policies on generating town centre and transport issues has paid off.'
The scheme's shopping element includes a Savacentre and a mix of large and small shops. The developer is confident that many new retail names will be keen to take space. Leisure users will have a 'family focus' and include a 16 screen multiplex cinema, a family entertainment centre, a health and fitness centre and places to eat and drink.
The historic Brewery Offices in High Street will be the nucleus of a new 'residential quarter' with some 170 flats including properties to buy and rent. A new bus terminus in the scheme will ensure good public transport access. Hopes for a museum in Romford will be realised within the High Street buildings.
Road improvements to make movement around the town centre easier, and a package of environmental measures focused on South Street and High Street will also be funded by the developer.
Havering LBC leader Ray Harris said: 'Support for the scheme comes from across all political groups on the council as it represents an exciting opportunity for Romford to retain its role as the premier town centre in north East London.
'Not only will it provide up to date shopping, leisure facilities and new homes in a traditional town centre, it has the potential to spread benefits across the whole of the borough. We look forward to working closely with the developer and others in Romford to make it a reality.'