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M&S wins legal battle over Oxfrord Street store rebuild

Marks & Spencer (M&S) celebrates a legal victory following a court ruling that declared the UK secretary's decision to block the controversial plan to demolish and rebuild its flagship store on London's Oxford Street as unlawful.

In a move that could shape the future of one of the capital's most iconic shopping districts, secretary Michael Gove had denied permission for the redevelopment near Marble Arch in the West End last July, siding with environmental campaigners concerned about the project's carbon footprint. However, M&S mounted a legal challenge against this decision, leading to a high court ruling on Friday that favoured the retailer.

Photo © Ppawel |

Sacha Berendji, M&S operations director, expressed satisfaction with the outcome, stating that the judgment affirmed the unlawfulness of Gove's action and highlighted the detrimental impact it had caused. Berendji emphasized the potential benefits of the redevelopment, including job creation and the enhancement of Oxford Street's appeal as a premier shopping destination.

Gove's objection to the plan last year stemmed from concerns about its environmental impact and failure to support a transition to a low-carbon future. However, the court ruled that he had misapplied planning policy and failed to adequately justify his decision, particularly regarding potential harm to London's West End.


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