M&S has received High Court approval for a judicial review into the decision to reject its multi-million Marble Arch store redevelopment.
The judicial review is not expected to take place until next year and to successfully overturn the decision, the retailer will have to convince the courts there was an error in the Government’s decision-making process.
Gove blocked M&S’ redevelopment plans back in July, which would have seen the Art Deco building demolished and rebuilt, over concerns that the public benefits of the proposal did not outweigh the harm to nearby landmarks, including the grade II listed Selfridges building and nearby conservation areas.
The proposal’s failure to reuse existing sources, such as converting the current buildings, and the scheme’s carbon footprint were also cited as reasons.
At the time, M&S boss Stuart Machin termed the decision “laughable” and “utterly pathetic” and said it would be forced to review its future at the store.
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On the High Court’s decision this week, 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.
“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.”