The plans which have been approved by Harlow Council will see the Little Walk, East Gate, West Gate and Gatehouse area of the centre demolished, making room for four new buildings providing 447 residential units and 4,000 square metres of retail floorspace, the professional journal Planning has reported.
A planning report, which recommended approval for the redevelopment of the Harvey Centre shopping centre in the town, said that the plans would regenerate the town centre and act as "a catalyst for wider change".
The report said that the proposal would "respond to local character through the incorporation of key features of the town centre in a modern way, and would include the creation of a significant new landscaped boulevard".
"It is considered that the proposal would enhance the environmental quality of the town centre and would improve the character, image and perception of the town centre", the report said.
A separate application, approved by the council yesterday, includes plans for up to 115,200 square metres of offices, research and development laboratories, plus ancillary facilities, landscaping and parking at the Pinnacles Industrial Estate on Coldharbour Road.
The outline plans were submitted by government agency Public Health England (PHE).
The New Frontiers Science Park was established within the industrial estate in 1997 after major investment and expansion by Beechams and eventually GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), another pharma firm, GSK, vacated the site in 2010.
Consultancy Rolfe Judd Planning advised on the Harvey Centre planning application.