Plans for the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station have been given final approval by communities secretary Eric Pickles.

In a letter to Wandsworth council, which has already approved the plans, Pickles confirmed he would not be calling in the application, meaning developer Treasury Holdings can start work on the site next year.

The scheme, which forms part of a wider regeneration of the Nine Elms area including a £500m extension to the Northern Line with a new underground station, is worth an estimated £5.5bn. It will include the restoration and redevelopment of the building and surrounding areas to include retail, residential, cultural, hotel and conference and student accommodation facilities.

The project - the fourth attempt in 27 years to transform the iconic building - will involve the creation of about 16,000 homes and 25,000 jobs.

Rob Tincknell, managing director of Treasury Holdings, which took on the site in 2006, said: “We are delighted to have received final approval for the scheme and would like to thank the local community, Wandsworth council, the mayor of London, and the secretary of state for their support and valuable engagement throughout the process.”

It is understood that as many as 15 investors have lined up to back the project and Tincknell said he was confident that the project will go ahead as planned.

“Following productive talks with a number of potential investors, we now look forward to bringing an investment partner on board and commencing with the development of the site and the regeneration of the power station,” he said.

The state of the building means it is vital work starts quickly, experts have warned.