They include building offices and around 150 homes at the original site. The approval for the site, most of which is now a car park, is subject to conditions including provision of ecological areas, affordable homes and highway works.
Stapeley Water Gardens said its Palms Tropical Oasis was due to close this September because of dwindling visitor numbers. A representative said: "We can confirm outline permission has been granted for a mixed-used development. This will include a garden centre facility, houses and small-business use, but be we cannot confirm any further details at this time."
She did not comment on talk of the involvement of Dobbies, but a planning agenda from mid April mentioned the garden centre chain. Dobbies said reports of its involvement were unconfirmed, but added: "We are looking into various potential acquisitions."
Cheshire East principal planning officer Rosamund Ellison said: "The site is big and has a complex history. A raft of issues is continuing, including ecological mitigation works for great crested newts and other protected species."