Ellie Ames 04 March 2024

High Court overrules Gove on M&S demolition

High Court overrules Gove on M&S demolition image
Image: andersphoto / Shutterstock.com

The Government’s decision to block Marks & Spencer’s plans to demolish and redevelop its flagship central London store was unlawful, the High Court has ruled.

The retailer had submitted plans to replace its Oxford Street store with a new shop and large office block, which were approved by Westminster City Council.

However, levelling up secretary Michael Gove said the application should be referred to him and then refused permission last July, despite the appointed planning inspector recommending approval.

In November, the High Court approved M&S’s application for a judicial review of the decision.

M&S operations director Sacha Berendji said on Friday: ‘Today’s judgment couldn’t be clearer, the court has agreed with our arguments on five out of the six counts we brought forward and ruled that the secretary of state’s decision to block the redevelopment of our Marble Arch store was unlawful.

‘The result has been a long, unnecessary and costly delay to the only retail-led regeneration on Oxford Street which would deliver one of London’s greenest buildings, create thousands of new jobs and rejuvenate the capital’s premier shopping district.’

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said: ‘We acknowledge the judgment and are considering our next steps.

‘It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.’

Addressing regional inequalities  image

Addressing regional inequalities

Andrew Borland, Chief Innovation Officer at the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), University of Liverpool discusses the importance of levelling up for growth.
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