Parkside Regeneration, the joint venture between developers Langtree and St Helens Council formed to redevelop the coal mine, can now advance the first phase of development.
The Newton-le-Willows scheme will see 93,000 sq m of new employment space built on the site and a £38m Parkside link road to the M6.
This first phase is expected to sustain around 500 construction jobs.
Leader of St Helens Borough Council, Councillor David Baines said: “This is a momentous day and one that our council, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, and Conor McGinn MP have together worked very hard to achieve.
“This approval means that we can plan for the long-term future of the site with Parkside Link Road providing the vital infrastructure to help unlock further opportunities for development, bringing further jobs and business opportunities to the borough and securing a sustainable transport vision for the site that helps protect the local environment.”
John Downes, chairman of Parkside Regeneration, added: “It’s been a long road, but we got there. I’m delighted that the Secretary of State saw as clearly as we did Parkside’s potential for transformational change and the contribution it will make to re-balancing the borough’s economy.
“Work starts today on what we need to do to get spades in the ground. There’ll be lots going on behind the scenes that people won’t see, but we’ve already pushed the ‘go’ button.
“This is very personal to me. I started my career at Parkside as a sixteen year-old and it brings that journey full circle. At its peak the colliery employed more than two thousand people and to be able to replace that lost work is hugely satisfying.
“The economy is changing rapidly as we adjust to a post-pandemic world and the site will provide options for logistics and manufacturing employers that will bring well-paid technical work to the whole of St Helens borough. The potential to capitalise on and support Liverpool Freeport’s growth is particularly noteworthy.”