The High Court has approved Marks & Spencer’s (M&S) application for a judicial review of the UK Government’s decision to block the retailer from rebuilding its flagship store at Marble Arch in London.

The retailer’s plan to demolish and redevelop the store was denied by Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove in July this year on heritage and environmental grounds.

The following month, M&S launched a legal challenge claiming that the Secretary of State wrongly interpreted and applied planning policy.

According to Michael Gove, the redevelopment plan fails to comply with the country’s transition to a low-carbon future and to encourage the reuse of existing resources.

M&S CEO Stuart Machin said: “We are pleased that the Court has recognised the merits of our legal challenge on every one of the six counts that we raised and approved our case to proceed to the next stage.

“We have been clear from the very start that the refurbishment of the existing store was not possible, so this is only the first step in the lengthy process of overturning the government’s senseless decision to reject our Marble Arch proposal – the only retail-led regeneration on Oxford Street.

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“With our investment and the amazing plans we have to transform the site into a modern, sustainable building, it remains bewildering that we are again having to go through this after two years of support and approvals. But we will do everything necessary to secure a better future at Marble Arch for our local customers and community.”