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To: Archie Norman, Chairman of M&S and Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S

Stop the demolition of Oxford Street – save and re-use M&S flagship store

Don’t let M&S demolish its historic Oxford Street HQ.

Why is this important?


Thanks to everyone who signed the petition to save the M&S building on Oxford Street. It has become an extremely high-profile case attracting national media attention and supporters including the actor Kristin Scott Thomas, the TV presenter Griff Rhys Jones and the writer Bill Bryson.

Since we launched the petition a lot has happened, as you will know from our email updates. We made a video, we smashed our crowdfunder, we held a lecture at the Royal Academy, we issued a report documenting the campaign.

And, of course, we fought a two-week public inquiry against M&S on heritage and sustainability grounds which could have far-reaching consequences for our demolition-first approach to development.

The planning inspector’s recommendation is now with the Secretary of State who has the final say. His decision is expected “on or before 3rd May”. Find out more in our report, The Battle for M&S Oxford Street: Why This Landmark Case Matters, which you can download from our website.

And thanks again for your support – we couldn’t do it without you! If you’d like to know more about our work and how to help SAVE Britain’s Heritage please visit our website.

The demolition and rebuild of this 6-storey building would pump 39,500 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. This handsome landmark building has characterised Oxford Street for almost 100 years, helping shape one of London's most famous and historic streets.

In September this year M&S announced it was ramping up its ambitious green agenda, seeking to cut a third of its carbon emissions by 2025 and be fully net zero by 2045. Now the company board risks betraying its own carbon targets in the midst of a global climate crisis. According to M&S’s own planning documents, the projects carbon cost of 39,534 tonnes of CO2 would require the planting of 2.4 million trees to offset its impact.

If the former Oxford Street department stores of House of Fraser, Topshop Debenham’s can all be refurbished for office and retail use, why can’t M&S follow suit?

We therefore call on the Chairman and CEO of M&S do the right thing by history, and by future generations. Save and re-use this building and show your customers and investors that M&S is serious about sustainability and its own net zero commitments.

M&S must seize this opportunity to boost their green credentials and keep this part of London’s heritage in the process. Built to a high specification, this prestigious building is ready for adaptation and repurposing to suit a variety of uses, and capable of lasting another 100 years.

Under the proposals, designed by architects Pilbrow + Partners, the unlisted 1929 art deco landmark is set to be bulldozed along with two extension buildings to be replaced with a 10-storey retail and office building.

Despite substantial local and national opposition, and a listing bid from the Twentieth Century Society, the plans were approved by Westminster City Council on 23rd November 2021, with a £1.2 million ‘carbon offset’ payment to be made by M&S to the council.

It’s not too late for M&S to think afresh and respond to the concerns of Londoners and customers, through saving and reusing M&S Marble Arch.

Oxford St, London, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL




2024-03-28 11:18:17 +0000

March 2024:
We're delighted to announce re:store, an exciting competition launched by SAVE Britain's Heritage & The Architects' Journal. We are seeking fresh ideas to breathe new life into the M&S Oxford St building and its corner of the West End.

Full details:

Please share the link with any architects or architecture students you know. It's free to enter and the best entries will be featured in the AJ. Deadline: April 24.

Meanwhile, following a High Court challenge, the decision on whether to grant planning permission for M&S's demolition proposals has returned to the Secretary of State.

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SAVE Britain's Heritage

2022-10-27 09:04:14 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2021-12-03 21:41:07 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2021-12-02 17:38:42 +0000

500 signatures reached

2021-12-02 13:35:29 +0000

100 signatures reached

2021-12-02 13:22:12 +0000

50 signatures reached

2021-12-02 13:14:16 +0000

25 signatures reached

2021-12-02 13:09:42 +0000

10 signatures reached