The mammoth regeneration scheme in Pier Road, Gillingham, went back before the same councillors who rejected it almost three months ago.
Since facing the council’s ire, developer Peel removed a pub-cum-restaurant, hotel and café from the blueprints and offered more protection to a high dock wall along Pier Road, Gillingham.
How the £650m project at Chatham Docks will look
All but one of Medway Council’s planning committee approved the plans.
Cllr Adrian Gulvin (Con) said: “It’s nice to know Peel are listening… we all have great aspirations for this site. It’s part of the future of the Medway towns.”
Peel can now start work immediately on the first phase, which includes an Asda supermarket, petrol station, infrastructure and open space.
When finished, Chatham Docks will reputedly feature 950 homes and space for enough businesses to provide 3,500 jobs.
Sheila Wright, development and planning manager for Peel Holdings, said: “We’re obviously very pleased with the way the decision went.
“It’s always been our intention to bring about a very high-quality development on this site.
“Ultimately there will be 3,500 jobs and a whole new environment – lots of residential, offices, new parkland, and a big new retail store which is desperately needed in that area.”
Tension between the council and Peel, one of the world’s biggest property firms which built the BBC headquarters at Salford Quays, may not be over.
The meeting heard a public inquiry is already being fixed so Peel can fight for the right to build the initial, less popular plans.
Planning committee chairman Cllr Diane Chambers (Con) admitted: “We had a lot of difficulty actually working with them.
“I think the council has always been very keen to work with people to achieve things and I don’t necessarily think that’s always been the way Peel have seen this.
“It’s my hope that if this is now approved, Peel will get on and prove that they can deliver this… and consider withdrawing their appeal.”
Ms Wright said she could not comment on whether the appeal would be withdrawn.