Communities Minister Ruth Kelly has opted for Gough's massive proposal - led by regeneration company Sunderland Arc - comprising 1,000 new homes mixed in with office, leisure and retail units plus two hotels.
Crucially, it paves the way for Sunderland Arc to complete a compulsory purchase of the former brewery site, currently owned by retail behemoth Tesco.
The supermarket had hoped to move forward with its own retail-led development, drawn up by Michael Aukett.
Back in October 2005, a spat broke out between the two architects, with Gough claiming that Aukett's speculative designs were 'unimaginably bad'. Aukett responded by saying the Sunderland Arc development was not 'commercially viable' (Aukett and Gough in Sunderland face-off ).
Commenting on the victory, David Walker, Sunderland Arc operations director, said: 'We still await the decision of the Unitary Development Plan inquiry, which sets the framework for the city and is vital in securing our plans for the site.
'The Vaux site is clearly an integral part of Sunderland's future and we firmly believe that the Arc's plans offer more for the city and its future regeneration.
'We hope today marks the beginning of this important step change.'