Apr 4, 2022
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Mayor looks again at M&S Marble Arch rebuild plans after backlash

Apr 4, 2022

M&S’s plan to demolish and rebuild its Marble Arch, London, flagship store has been suspended following opposition.

London mayor Sadiq Khan is to revisit the proposals after Greater London Authority (GLA) climate adviser Simon Sturgis suggested the scheme’s approval showed the mayor “isn’t serious about net zero”.

In January, architect Sturgis wrote a report arguing that knocking down the building was inconsistent with tackling the climate crisis. The mayor will now take Sturgis’ findings into account while he revisits the planning decision.

Westminster Council had given its backing to the rebuilding scheme last November that would have seen the Oxford Street building make way for a 10-storey site. 
But a councillor who voted against M&S’s plans, said the new build would cost almost 40,000 tonnes of upfront carbon — more than 20 times what the local authority aims to save annually through retrofitting buildings.  

Sturgis said: “It seems the Mayor isn’t really serious about achieving the climate goals he’s set out or net zero by 2050. Given the climate crisis and the need to change direction [on development and construction], many local authorities say they want to achieve net zero faster than central government.”

M&S previously said that 90% of materials from the existing site will be reused in the construction of the new building, and once finished will have a higher sustainability rating than the current one.

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