Barking and Dagenham council will be able to force out property and business owners who refuse to make way for a "comprehensive" town centre redevelopment.
Last night councillors unanimously agreed to use compulsory purchase powers, if needed, in order to start a "vast" regeneration of Barking town centre.
The five-acre Vicarage Field development was granted planning permission last year and includes 25,000sqm of retail and office space, a hotel, a primary school, healthcare and leisure facilities alongside more than 850 new homes.
However the plan requires the council, property investor Benson Elliot and development managers Londonewcastle to clear the existing site and demolish Vicarage Field Shopping Centre and some surrounding buildings.
Areas not owned by the council in the shopping centre, Ripple Road, Station Parade and St Awdry's Walk plus the Vicarage Field Health Clinic will be subject to the compulsory purchasing order.
The Cabinet heard that the council already has "a substantial proportion" of the site under its control and is still negotiating with some business owners.
However, councillor Cameron Geddes, lead member for regeneration, said he could not guarantee businesses that would have to relocate a space in the new town centre.
"This is a comprehensive development for the area and there is no way we can make guarantees for everyone," he said.
"It is hard to get individual shops relocated in Barking town centre."