Cheshire East Council has approved a planning application to begin the redevelopment of the station and the former Royal Mail site in the town centre.
The mail sorting office on Weston Road will be demolished and replaced with a 240-space surface-level car park. There will be improved facilities for taxis, a new public drop-off area, the subway will be reopened into platforms five to 11 and improved ticket machines and passenger information displays.
Outline consent was granted for a six-unit retail and fast-food block of 5,800 sq ft over two storeys. The proposals cover 3.66 acres in total.
The council said a new concourse building linking in with the station top frontage along Nantwich Road and the new retail and food building is envisaged at a later date.
One objection was received, primarily on design grounds, saying the "proposed new entrance building looks nothing more than a toilet block." The unnamed objector argued that this "is a major gateway development site for Crewe and should only be used for a highly visual quality station entrance."
The council said in its report following approval: "Whilst the proposal would not at this stage deliver comprehensive development of the Crewe Rail Gateway, local plan policy recognises the need for flexibility in the delivery of the development. This proposed scheme would facilitate the delivery of additional parking close to the station and would improve access and pedestrians links with the station. The development would not by its nature, prejudice or preclude the future redevelopment or regeneration of the station."
Funding for the scheme comes from £6.177m awarded by the Government's £100m rail stations improvement fund, announced in November.
The council and Network Rail are continuing to work up plans for an iconic 21st century gateway to the town. The plans are part of the All Change for Crewe development vision led by Tom Russell, former chief executive of New East Manchester, and surveyors GVA.
Cllr Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity at Cheshire East, said: "A revitalised rail hub is critical to boosting the town's visitor economy and its attractiveness to business."