Department Stores

Demolition plans for M&S flagship site to be reconsidered

City Hall will now review proposals to demolish the site after they initially decided ‘not to intervene’ in the application

Sadiq Khan is reportedly reconsidering previous plans to demolish Marks and Spencer’s flagship store on Oxford Street following ongoing backlash over the decision. 

According to Architects Journal, City Hall officials will now review proposals to demolish the site after they initially decided “not to intervene” in the application.

Simon Sturgis, an architect and carbon expert, previously wrote a report that argued that knocking down the building would lead to higher carbon emissions and did not align with official planning policy. 

The mayor will reportedly take his findings into account while he revisits the planning decision on the 1930s building.

The Oxford Street site was expected to make way for a 10-storey site under plans by architect Pilbrow and Partners, with the move approved by Westminster City Council in November.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London told Retail Sector:City Hall officials have not yet determined a sound planning basis for the Mayor to intervene in this decision, and have said it is for Westminster City Council to determine the application. The planning process is still ongoing, with the City of Westminster yet to issue its planning decision.

“The initial assessment of the plans by City Hall thoroughly considered the issue of carbon emissions. This found that the carbon saving of the refurbishment of the existing building would be countered by its poor energy efficiency, and the refurbished buildings would have a larger total carbon footprint than a new build. Following its initial report, City Hall has since published new guidance on carbon emissions and officials are considering an updated report to include further analysis of the carbon emissions of the proposed demolition.”

They added: “The Mayor has made tackling the climate emergency an urgent priority. In 2018 the Mayor led the way by declaring a climate emergency and has committed to making London net zero carbon by 2030, which is taken forward by the sustainable policies in the London Plan with a requirement that all new buildings are net zero carbon.”

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