The High Court has approved Marks and Spencer's application for judicial review of the decision by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to refuse planning permission for the redevelopment of the M&S store at Marble Arch.
The retailer says it made this application because it believes the Secretary of State wrongly interpreted and applied planning policy to justify his rejection of the scheme on grounds of heritage and environmental concerns.
The rejection followed a two-year development process, and was described by M&S CEO Stuart Machin in July as "a short-sighted act of self-sabotage", the effects of which would "be felt far beyond M&S and the West End".
Of the High Court's decision, Stuart says: “We are pleased that the court has recognised the merits of our legal challenge on every one of the six counts that we raised, and approved our case to proceed to the next stage. We have been clear from the very start that the refurbishment of the existing store was not possible, so this is only the first step in the lengthy process of overturning the Government’s senseless decision to reject our Marble Arch proposal – the only retail-led regeneration on Oxford Street.
"With our investment and the amazing plans we have to transform the site into a modern, sustainable building it remains bewildering that we are again having to go through this after two years of support and approvals. But we will do everything necessary to secure a better future at Marble Arch for our local customers and community.”