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Marks & Spencer stands by Oxford Street redevelopment plan despite backlash

By Rachel Douglass

23 Aug 2022

Retail

Image: Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer has reportedly stood by its plans to demolish its Marble Arch building on Oxford Street, London, despite a growing opposition.

According to the Guardian, the retailer has pledged that 95 percent of the materials in the existing building will be recovered, recycled or reused as it continues to fight back against criticism from a campaign group.

The pledge comes ahead of an inquiry into the scheme, which is scheduled to begin October 25 and will look into the future of the store.

Despite the redevelopment being approved by the local council and the Greater London Authority, a number of architects and notable figures have joined in opposing the plans alongside campaign group, Save Britain's Heritage.

The group, which has collected over 11,000 pounds of its 20,000 pound fighting fund target, has said that the scheme would release almost 40,000 tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere.

However, responding to the opposition, group operations director of Marks & Spencer, Sacha Berendji, told the Guardian that the new building would actually use less than a quarter of the energy of the current 1929 structure once completed.

Berendji added: “In addition to carbon reduction, our investment will deliver a better place to shop for our customers, a better place to work for our colleagues and a better public realm for our local community.”

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