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Tomorrow, M&S Launches Legal Challenge Against Marble Arch Decision

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Tomorrow, M&S Launches Legal Challenge Against Marble Arch Decision

M&S is all set to commence its legal challenge in the High Court against the rejection of its plan to redevelop its flagship store at Marble Arch, starting tomorrow (Tuesday).

Sacha Berendji, the director of operations at the retailer, has accused Michael Gove, the secretary of communities, of misinterpreting and incorrectly applying the planning policy in his prior decision to deny the plans on the grounds of heritage and the environment.

Last year, M&S CEO Stuart Machin criticized Gove’s ruling as “utterly pathetic” and a “shortsighted act of self-sabotage,” stating that it necessitates a reassessment of the future of the Marble Arch store.

M&S argued that the enhanced energy efficiency of the new building would counterbalance the carbon emissions from a rebuild.

Berendji stated, “We will present our argument for why the secretary of state’s choice to block our proposed redevelopment of our Marble Arch site – which disregarded advice from the independent planning inspector and support from Westminster city council, the London mayor, and Greater London Authority – misinterpreted and incorrectly applied planning policy, with the Court approving all six issues we raised to proceed to this hearing.”

“When our proposal to bring one of London’s most sustainable and energy-efficient buildings into the heart of the West End is rejected and other projects with lower sustainability benefits are progressing, it makes it challenging for developers to interpret planning policy, hindering investment and prompting many to question ‘why bother,’ which is a setback for the economy and the transition to net zero,” Berendji added.

M&S had previously obtained approval for the redevelopment from Westminster council in 2021.

Image Source: patat / Shutterstock

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