The long-awaited "gateway to Croydon" has moved a step closer to reality after the second stage of the £500m development won approval from Croydon Council.

Developers Stanhope and Schroders last week secured preliminary planning permission to build a 10-storey office block, including restaurants and shops, on derelict wasteland by East Croydon station as part of a landmark development touted as central to the town's regeneration.

The nine-acre site, dubbed the "East Croydon gateway", has laid largely empty for 15 years and completely unused since the closure of the Warehouse Theatre in 2012. 

Work on the first phase of the project, 161 flats across 22-storey and nine-storey towers, is expected to begin this summer after the developers submitted an application to begin construction in June. 

The council has yet to approve the application, but has now given the green light to pre-application proposals for the development's second phase following an application in March. 

The approval is subject to conditions including the reduction of glare from the building's exterior.

A spokesman for Stanhope and Schroders said: "We are pleased to announce that we have received planning permission from Croydon Council for the speculative office building designed by shedkm at Ruskin Square and further announcements on developments at the site will be made in due course."

The completed development will include five buildings with up to 625 homes, 22,000sq m of offices, retail units and a car park.

But plans to replace the Warehouse Theatre, demolished in October, with a new theatre have been dropped, with the developers instead paying the council a £4m infrastructure levy to invest in culture elsewhere.