M&S Marble Arch saga goes on as demolition is paused... again
The saga of M&S wanting to knock down and rebuild its London Marble Arch flagship store continues. The on-off-on story line is now on pause as the government’s communities secretary Michael Gove wants ministers to scrutinise the plans.
Gove has stepped in after London mayor Sadiq Khan first blocked the move and then reversed the decision that would allow the 100-year-old landmark Oxford Street store to be replaced with a modern 10-storey building, despite environmental concerns.
The communities secretary has now instructed Westminster council, which has final sign-off on the plans, to “pause” the application, using an Article 31 holding direction that allows the government to inspect the plans, according to the Evening Standard.
A Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson told the newspaper that M&S’s application will be “assessed against published policy on calling-in applications and a decision will be issued in due course”.
An M&S spokesman said: “The plans we have submitted to build a new, vibrant M&S store fit for modern retail and sustainable office space has been approved at every stage and strongly supported by the local community as a key part of the regeneration of an iconic part of London.
“As well as attracting new investment and footfall, a detailed assessment on the carbon impact across the whole lifecycle of the building was undertaken by independent experts who concluded that the new build offered significant sustainability advantages over a refurbishment.”
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