Statement in response to the decision of Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to refuse planning consent for plans to redevelop a Marks & Spencer store on Oxford Street, Mable Arch.
Charles Begley, Chief Executive, London Property Alliance, said:
“The intense debate around a single store underlines the significant challenges developers and investors face when making long term investment decisions to deliver sustainable economic and environmental growth. This particular case demonstrates the lack of clarity and leadership nationally on the issue.
“Whilst the Secretary of State’s decision sends a political message, it does not provide the substantive planning policy guidance the property sector and local councils need to make finely balanced decisions around upgrading or demolishing poorly performing buildings.
“We fully support a retrofit-first approach in order to retain heritage and reduce embodied carbon, but this should not just be about retrofit-only as such decisions cannot be binary. The best way to reduce the carbon footprint over a building’s full life cycle often involves a blend of approaches and compromises to create truly world-class sustainable buildings for the future.
“We want to work with government so those gaps in policy can be addressed and help avoid the politicisation of single consents.”