In reaching his decision, Pickles said that the proposals, a version of which were first submitted in 2007, did not conflict with national policies.
The new superstore will be built on the site of the former gas works on the corner of the A59 Skipton Road and the A61 Ripon Road.
The 2007 proposals were rejected after concerns about traffic congestion, safe use of the former gas works and the impact on local shops in the area.
The current application was submitted in 2009, and revised in the following February. In September 2011, the Health and Safety Executive, which had advised refusal because of concerns about safety risks on the site, said it would not intervene.
Tesco says the store will create 360 full and part-time jobs in the area.