The chief executive of Marks and Spencer has slammed the government\u2019s decision to deny the demolition and redevelopment of its flagship store on Oxford Street as \u201cpathetic\u201d.\r\n\r\nThe company planned to demolish the existing three buildings and construct a larger 2 basement and nine-storey mixed-use development containing a retail store, caf\u00e9\/restaurant, office, gym and a pedestrian arcade.\r\n\r\nThe Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, announced on Thursday his decision to refuse permission for the demolition and construction.\r\n\r\nPlanning Inspectors had recommended that the permission should be granted, however the decision is ultimately up to the Secretary of State.\r\n\r\nGove argued the public benefit and jobs created by the larger store were outweighed by the potential harm that could come to neighbouring heritage sites and the potential environmental impact.\r\n\r\nThe report giving reason to the Secretary of State\u2019s denial said: \u201cThe height and appearance of the cornice of the proposed development would be prominent and distracting from the Selfridge\u2019s fa\u00e7ade, especially when compared with the deferential appearance of Orchard House.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe considers that there would be a significantly detrimental impact on the setting of Selfridges. He considers that in terms of paragraph 202 of the Framework there would be \u2018less than substantial\u2019 harm to the setting, and so to the significance, of Selfridges, and further considers that this harm would be at the upper end of the \u2018less than substantial\u2019 category.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe report continued: \u201cThe Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector at IR13.43 that there should generally be a strong presumption in favour of repurposing and reusing buildings, as reflected in paragraph 152 of the Framework. In the circumstances of the present case, where the buildings in question are structurally sound and are in a location with the highest accessibility levels, he considers that a strong reason would be needed to justify demolition and rebuilding.\u201d\r\n\r\nCommenting on the decision Stuart Machin, CEO of Marks and Spencer, said: \u201cThere is no levelling up without a strong, growing Capital city, but the ripple effect extends well beyond Oxford Street. Towns and cities up and down the country will feel the full effects of this chilling decision, with decaying buildings and brownfield sites now destined to remain empty as developers retreat.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe nation\u2019s fragile economic recovery needs Government to give confidence to sustainable regeneration and investment as well as following due process; in London and across the UK. Today the Secretary of State has signalled he is more interested in cheap shot headlines than facts and if it weren\u2019t so serious it would be laughable.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe added: \u201cWe have been clear from the outset that there is no other viable scheme \u2013 so, after almost a century at Marble Arch, M&S is now left with no choice but to review its future position on Oxford Street on the whim of one man. It is utterly pathetic."