Plans for a 77-acre redevelopment in Earls Court and West Kensington have been approved by the Mayor of London.
The scheme involves demolishing two estates and the Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
Developers want to create four "villages" and a "high street" and say the plans will create 7,500 homes and thousands of permanent jobs.
But campaigners from Save Earl's Court West Kensington & Gibbs Green estates have opposed them.
They argued the loss of Earls Court would damage trade and that the centre should be listed.
London mayor Boris Johnson could have chosen to turn the scheme down or call for a public hearing when he met with his planning team on Wednesday.
He said he was "acutely aware of the concerns" some residents had.
But, he added: "I'm in no doubt that the development will provide a massive boost not just to this part of the capital, but to London's wider economy as well."
Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley said on Twitter: "Very disappointed but not at all surprised that the Mayor has approved demolition of Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
"An appalling decision."
And Green Party London Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: "Boris Johnson claims to be a champion of the London economy and making it more attractive to foreign investment.
"Yet he has backed the demolition of the exhibition centres that are estimated to be worth over a billion pounds to London's real economy, that attract one and a half million visitors.
"By backing this proposal, Boris Johnson is condemning this part of London into [being] a playground for the super rich with mostly extortionately priced homes that will not help the vast majority of ordinary people."
The development, straddling the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham, is expected to take 20 years to complete.