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M&S wins approval to fight Marble Arch rejection

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M&S has been granted High Court approval to proceed with a judicial review to fight the rejection of its multi-million-pound Marble Arch store redevelopment. 

To successfully reverse the decision, M&S must convince the courts there was a flaw in the Government’s decision-making process.

The rejection of M&S’ redevelopment plans, initially proposed in July, was led by the MP Michael Gove. 

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The plans involved demolishing and rebuilding the Art Deco building.

However, concerns were raised regarding balancing public benefits and potential harm to nearby landmarks.

Nearby buildings include the grade II listed Selfridges building and adjacent conservation areas. 

The failure to use existing resources, such as repurposing the current buildings, and concerns about the scheme’s carbon footprint were also cited as reasons for the rejection.

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Following the July decision, M&S CEO Stuart Machin expressed frustration, calling the rejection “laughable” and “utterly pathetic.”

He hinted at a potential review of the company’s future at the Marble Arch store.

Refurbishment is “not possible”

Reacting to the recent High Court approval, Machin said: “We are pleased that the Court has recognised the merits of our legal challenge on every one of the six counts that we raised, and approved our case to proceed to the next stage.

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“We have been clear from the very start that the refurbishment of the existing store was not possible, so this is only the first step in the lengthy process of overturning the government’s senseless decision to reject our Marble Arch proposal – the only retail-led regeneration on Oxford Street.

“With our investment and the amazing plans we have to transform the site into a modern, sustainable building it remains bewildering that we are again having to go through this after two years of support and approvals. 

“But we will do everything necessary to secure a better future at Marble Arch for our local customers and community.”

The review is expected to take place next year.

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