A joint application for 220 homes across two sites in Purley was submitted in 2016 and received permission from Croydon Council later that year.
But the plans were called in by then housing secretary Sajid Javid following a petition against the scheme by local Conservative MP Chris Philp.
The proposed development features a 17-storey tower on the site of Purley Baptist Church, containing homes and a new temple, while another eight-storey block would be built in nearby Banstead Road.
Another former housing secretary, James Brokenshire, rejected the scheme in 2018 on the ground it was poorly designed – despite planning inspector David Nicholson saying it should be approved ‘without delay’.
The decision was quashed after developer Thornsett, which is working on behalf of Purley Baptist Church, appealed against the decision.
At the time, it said: ‘The discrepancy between the recommendation of the planning inspector and the secretary of state’s decision is a cause of deep concern.’
Following a second public inquiry held in December 2019, planning inspector Paul Jackson concluded: ‘The development would be beneficial in terms of character and appearance and would greatly enhance the public realm in Purley District Centre, as well as regenerating a long-term disused site.’
Jenrick said he agreed with Jackson that the scheme fitted with the local development plan and granted the scheme permission.
In a statement, Purley Baptist Church said: ‘This marks a positive and decisive outcome for us after many years of sacrifice and hard work. To God be the glory!’
Andrew Matthews, founding director at Proctor and Matthews Architects, said: ’We’re very pleased to have received planning permission for the design of Mosaic Place in Purley alongside Thornsett Group and Purley Baptist Church.’
’We hope that this landmark site will help to improve Purley’s urban fabric and add to its regeneration vision providing much-needed affordable new homes and communal facilities that will benefit all.’