To retain or rebuild? M&S case shows the industry needs rules

Tom Lane

The High Court ruling overturning Michael Gove’s decision to deny M&S permission to redevelop its Oxford Street store shows that a framework setting out the conditions for redevelopment is urgently needed

Last week’s High Court decision to overturn Michael Gove’s refusal to allow M&S permission to redevelop its Oxford Street store is perhaps most notable for exposing the extent of the malaise afflicting our planning system. In a case that has dragged on for six years, the secretary of state overruled the decisions of Westminster council and the mayor of London, who agreed that the redevelopment could go ahead. 

He also went against the advice of his planning inspector, who said that refusing the development would lead to substantial harm to the viability of Oxford Street and the surrounding area.

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