Sadiq Khan to reconsider demolition of historic M&S store following backlash Business

The mayor of London will reconsider his plan to demolish the Marks & Spencer store in Oxford Street following a public backlash.

City hall officials will consider controversial proposals to bring down the flagship store near Selfridges after initially deciding not to intervene in the request.

In January, Simon Sturgis, an architect and carbon expert, wrote a highly critical report saying the destruction of the building was incompatible with tackling the climate crisis and at odds with official policy. He said the move would lead to increased carbon emissions.

Sadiq Khan will now take Mr Sturgis’ findings into account when revisiting the planning decision, Architects Journal first reported.

The Oxford Street complex, which houses the Orchard House building, is expected to make way for a 10-storey site. It was approved by Westminster City Council in November.

Since then, heritage charities and architecture enthusiasts have campaigned fiercely against the demolition of the 1930s building.

Marks & Spencer has previously said that 90% of materials from the existing site will be reused in the construction of the new building and when completed will have a higher sustainability rating than the current one.

According to its plans, the retailer will occupy two and a half floors instead of the five currently used, with offices filling the upper floors.

City Hall officials decided to allow Westminster Council to determine the final outcome of the application on March 7 as they did not have sufficient grounds to intervene.

An update to local carbon emissions guidelines, however, has prompted scrutiny.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: ‘The planning process is still ongoing as the City of Westminster has yet to deliver its planning decision.

“The initial assessment of the plans by the town hall carefully considered the issue of carbon emissions. This revealed that the carbon saving of retrofitting the existing building would be countered by its poor energy efficiency, and retrofitted buildings would have a larger total carbon footprint than new construction.

“Following its initial report, City Hall has since released new carbon emissions guidelines and officials are considering an updated report to include a more in-depth analysis of the carbon emissions from the proposed demolition.”

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This notice was published: 2022-04-01 19:10:27

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