The decision to grant planning permission to the Chatham Waters development has been hailed as "the beginning of a new era for the docklands at Gillingham" by the leader of Medway Council.
Rodney Chambers made his comments after it was announced that detailed planning approval had been given to the first phase of the 26-acre project at Chatham Docks.
This phase focuses on construction of a retail superstore, which is expected to employ approximately 400 staff on a full-time and part-time basis.
An earlier proposal also included the creation of a pub/restaurant, a hotel and a café in phase one, but these elements were dropped from the current application because of design concerns.
The award marks the first step in the proposed redevelopment of the 26-acre Chatham Dock, which it is hoped will eventually also incorporate a conference centre, a hotel, apartments, houses and a supermarket.
Chambers said: "Chatham Waters is a key development for Medway and we are pleased that the first phase can now go ahead. This marks the beginning of a new era for the docklands at Gillingham, which promises to bring thousands of local jobs and economic prosperity in the area."
The application was submitted by Peel Land and Property (Ports No 3) Ltd.
James Whittaker, development director at Peel, said: "We're delighted Medway Council has approved our detailed plans for the first phase of Chatham Waters and are excited about being able to start work on the development in the coming months.
"The Chatham Waters scheme will regenerate and breathe new life into a significant area of the dockland in Kent and give the region a real economic boost."
Whittaker added that the approval "paves the way" for the company to bring forward the rest of the outline scheme.