// The demolishment of M&S Marble Arch store on Oxford Street is set to go ahead after London mayor Sadiq Khan decided not to intervene
// Khan had revisited M&S’ application in light of criticism of the demolition, however, he decided that the carbon footprint of the construction had been considered from the outset
The demolition of the Marks & Spencer flagship at Marble Arch on Oxford Street can go ahead despite environmental concerns, London mayor Sadiq Khan has decided.
M&S is vying to replace the Edwardian art deco building, which is around 100 years old, with a 10-storey building, with offices, a gym and a smaller store.
Khan looked poised to stage an intervention last week when he opted to review the application after the Greater London Authority’s carbon advisor, architect Simon Sturgis, penned a report that said the demolition was at odds with City Hall’s planning policy of retaining and retro-fitting old buildings.
However, Khan has decided that the “carbon footprint” of demolishing the M&S store has been considered from an early stage and has referred the application back to Westminister council for final approval, according to the Evening Standard.
A spokeswoman for Khan said: “The mayor can only intervene in council planning decisions where the proposed scheme does not conform with the London Plan.
“After a thorough assessment of this proposal, including the total carbon footprint involved, it was determined that grounds did not exist to allow the mayor to intervene. It will therefore remain with Westminster City Council to determine the application.”
Westminster has already resolved to grant planning permission, subject to agreeing wider community benefits with the developers.
Sturgis had argued that a comprehensive refurbishment was a better option than demolition. He tweeted over the weekend: “I never thought that a Labour mayor of London would prove to be less progressive on climate change than a Conservative government.
Sturgis added that M&S should withdraw the scheme to “demonstrate their sincerity” to Plan A, the firm’s sustainability masterplan.
An M&S spokesman said: “We are continuing to make progress on our plans to invest in the west end of Oxford Street for the long term by establishing a new, vibrant M&S store fit for modern retail, along with best in class sustainable office space.
“We will keep the local community updated as our plans progress.”