The scheme being led by Spen Hill Developments, the commercial property arm of Tesco, includes plans for new town square surrounded by 45 shops, offices, a 950-room student village and underground parking, as well as a Tesco store.
The 3.6-hectare site includes an existing Tesco store and the area of the demolished Trinity Square shopping complex that incorporated the former multi-storey concrete car park featured in the Get Carter film, demolished by Thompsons early this year.
The scheme had stirred up some opposition because of it scale. Architecture watchdog CABE had warned that the scheme risked repeating past mistakes by creating a monolithic development.
English Heritage said the development would loom above nearby historic listed buildings, including the Old Town Hall, and the Bridges conservation area.
But Gateshead council leader Mick Henry, said: “We are delighted to have taken such a giant step forwards with planning permission after careful but complicated negotiations during such a time of considerable economic change.
“As is normal with a planning application of this size and scale, this approval is still subject to a number of finer details that we hope will be completed in time for work to begin on site by spring 2011.”