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Marks & Spencer Oxford Street demolition plan faces mounting pressure

By Rachel Douglass

16 Aug 2022

Retail

Image: Marks & Spencer

Bill Bryson has joined a growing call opposing Pilbrow and Partners’ plan to demolish Marks & Spencer’s Oxford Street flagship store.

The American-British author joins architects Steve Tompkins, Sarah Wigglesworth and Ian Ritchie, as well as MP Duncan Baker in voicing an aversion to the proposal.

According to Architect’s Journal, Bryson has donated 500 pounds to a fund established by Save Britain’s Heritage to help cover the organisation’s legal costs regarding the opposition, which will be heard at an inquiry on October 25.

Its crowdfunder has a target of 20,000 pounds and is approaching its halfway mark.

Speaking to the publication, Bryson said in a statement: “I believe it would be a great shame to tear down the M&S building. I have no special knowledge or insights about the matter. I just wish to help stop a bit of foolishness.”

In its initial letter to Westminster councillors, Save Britain’s Heritage has requested for the plans to demolish the 1929 art deco building, along with two extension buildings, which would be replaced with a new retail and office building, to be refused.

According to the organisation, the proposed demolition would carry unsustainable carbon costs, therefore intervening with the council’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030.

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