The application, submitted to Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council by consultancy Lichfields on behalf of developer HDD (Newcastle under Lyme) Limited, includes proposals for approximately 6,000 square metres of ground floor retail, restaurants and leisure space, 513 student flats and around 200 car parking spaces.
The site, which is bounded by the A52, Liverpool Road and Merrial Street, was formerly a Sainsbury supermarket and also contains council offices which are due to be vacated later this year.
A planning report, which recommended approval, said that the site is "located in a highly sustainable location" within the town centre.
It said that the benefits of the scheme include "the provision of student accommodation and floorspace for main town centre uses within an appropriate location making use of previously developed land".
Planners recognised that the development would have "some adverse impact on the skyline of the town centre in long distance views across the valley of the Lyme Brook", but added that the the "landmark listed buildings of St. Giles’ Church would remain prominent and distinctive when seen on the skyline".
The report also said that the the development would be of "an acceptable scale and massing".
The developers said that work is expected to get underway on the scheme next year.