High Court rejects Gove decision to support retrofit of Oxford Street Marks & Spencer

The High Court has rejected Michael Gove’s decision to stop Marks & Spencer building a new flagship Oxford Street store, after an appeal by the retailer.

M&S said the court’s decision “couldn’t be clearer,” and that the new scheme by Pilbrow & Partners would deliver one of London’s greenest buildings.” The proposal, which has now received a major boost, would replace three buildings on the site including a 1930s building, with a 10-storey retail and office scheme.

The scheme was refused last year on the grounds of its impact on nearby heritage buildings, and the potential carbon impact of a new build.

West End Company chief executive Dee Corsi however said the decision to quash Gove’s ruling was a “just result for Marks & Spencer, whose proposed development is a key part of Oxford Street’s and the West End’s future growth story.” She added: “We are hopeful the successful appeal will now lead to enhanced clarity in the planning system for all developers to benefit from, whether they are pursuing a retrofit or a redevelopment.”

M&S received approval from Westminster council in 2021 for the redevelopment, which was later backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, before being called in by Gove in 2022.