Final approval has been given to a controversial £300m container port, opening the way for construction work.
The Bathside Bay container port would be second only to Felixstowe
The project at Bathside Bay, Harwich, in Essex, had been delayed because of concerns about traffic congestion.
Proposals on road development submitted in January have been accepted and the whole scheme was approved by Transport Minister Derek Twigg on Wednesday.
A public inquiry in 2004 came down in favour of plans but set conditions because of concerns about local roads.
There had been widespread local opposition to the scheme on environmental grounds and over concerns for wildlife in an estuary used by migrating waders and other birds.
Mr Twigg said: "I am satisfied that all the outstanding points have been addressed and that the project should be allowed to proceed.
"We understand at the same time that the new terminal will have a significant impact on the environment.
"This is why we have imposed controls on the development, to provide new road and rail infrastructure so that congestion does not increase.
"We have also insisted on the provision of compensatory habitats for wildlife displaced by the scheme, and to reduce other environmental impacts such as noise, pollution and the visual impact."
The new container port will be smaller than the port at Felixstowe on the opposite side of the estuary and both will be owned and managed by transport operators Hutchison.