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Marks & Spencer's Oxford Street flagship demolition given green light

Jeremy Lim
13 April 2022

Marks and Spencer has been given the green light to demolish its Oxford Street flagship at Marble Arch, despite environmental concerns.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reviewed and agreed plans for the British retailer to replace its 1930s Edwardian Art Deco building with a new 10-storey building. The new building will feature a smaller shop, a pedestrian arcade, offices and a gym.

In January, Greater London Authority (GLA) carbon adviser and architect Simon Sturgis wrote a report to Westminster City Council arguing that the project is inconsistent with the UK Government's "net zero" legislation and the GLA's policies.

However, Khan has decided not to intervene following his review of the report last week, and has referred the application back to the Council for final approval.

A spokesperson for the mayor said: "The mayor can only intervene in council planning decisions where the proposed scheme does not conform with the London Plan. After a thorough assessment of this proposal, including the total carbon footprint involved, it was determined that grounds did not exist to allow the mayor to intervene. It will therefore remain with Westminster City Council to determine the application."

Sturgis, who had previously helped redraft the mayor’s development blueprint for the capital, suggested that Khan is "not serious" on climate change and about achieving "net zero" carbon emissions by 2030.

Westminster Council is expected to give final approval for the development "imminently".

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