M&S still determined to replace Marble Arch store
M&S isn’t giving up on its quest to rebuild its flagship Marble Arch, London, store. The long-running redevelopment battle that has come up against widespread opposition will now see the retailer table plans to appease its detractors.
M&S has pledged that 95% of the materials in its existing building will be recovered, recycled or reused to “promote circular economy principles”.
The offer comes in the run-up to an inquiry into the plans, scheduled to begin on 25 October. Former communities secretary Michael Gove announced an inquiry into the future of the store in June after opposition emerged to M&S’s plan to raze the building. Those initial plans had been approved by the local council and the Greater London Authority.
Opponents say the scheme, designed by the architecture firm Pilbrow & Partners, would release almost 40,000 tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. Campaigners from Save Britain’s Heritage also plan to argue that the building can be retro-fitted rather than completely razed.
But M&S says the store has “asbestos throughout,” and wants to create a new 10-storey building, with office spaces.
Sacha Berendji, group operations director of M&S, also said the new building would use less than a quarter of the energy of the current structure on completion.
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