The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Plans Granted for M&S Oxford Street Store to be Demolished

Plans Granted for M&S Oxford Street Store to be Demolished
30 November 2021
 

Westminster Council has approved plans to demolish the former M&S superstore, amidst a conservation row.

The building was assessed for potential protection for special architectural and historic interest, but it was decided that it did not meet the criteria for listing.

The former M&S Department Store, known as Orchard House at 458 Oxford Street, near Marble Arch, will be demolished and redeveloped under plans by Pilbrow & Partners. The plans include a public arcade with a new east-west link between Orchard Street and Granville Place, as well as offices on the upper floors of the building.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, will have the opportunity to intervene on the planning application.

 

Heritage Bodies Urge Council to Save the Building

 

SAVE Britain’s Heritage called on Westminster councillors to refuse plans, on the basis of the site being an “art deco landmark”.

They see the site as representing a period of growth during the inter-war period which saw Oxford Street cement its place as one of London’s most historical and identifiable streets.

It should therefore be considered a non-designated heritage asset of high historic and architectural significance and positive townscape value, argued SAVE Britain.

 

Image

Picture: a photograph of the proposed new retail space, showing the exterior of M&S. Image Credit: Pilbrow & Partners 

 

The Carbon Cost of Demolition

 

Clearing the site for the new building would require the demolition of a combined floor area of 35,000 sqm and the embodied carbon of the existing structure.

In a letter to planners and committee members, SAVE Britain outlined a strong opposition to the scheme on heritage grounds and that proposed demolition of the building would carry unsustainable carbons costs and contravene the council’s own net-zero targets.

The letter states: “The proposal involves the total loss of a landmark non-designated heritage asset which will cause substantial and unjustified harm to the historic character of Oxford Street and is unsustainable in terms of embodied carbon cost.”

SAVE director Henrietta Billings told the Evening Standard: “The M&S building is a handsome landmark from the 1930s that takes its cue from its neighbour Selfridges - Oxford Street’s grandest monument. Westminster City Council has set its own commendably high net-zero targets, yet this massive demolition and new build scheme blasts a colossal hole in meeting them.”

In a comment to Architect’s Journal, Fred Pilbrow, Founder Partner at Pilbrow & Partners said:

"M&S as our client take environmental responsibility extremely seriously and they have tasked us to deliver a leading-edge project aspiring to the highest standards of sustainability and wellbeing.

"The offices on the upper floors of the building will target BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum - one of a very select group of buildings that aim to meet both these criteria. The design is engineered to target ambitious operational energy consumption targets below 55kwh/m2/per year and embodied carbon below 500kg carbon/m2.

"Both targets aligned to the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) guidance for commercial offices and we are following the UK Green Building Council’s framework to achieve a net-zero carbon building."

Picture: a photograph of the exterior of the new site, showing a view of the road. Image Credit: Pilbrow & Partners 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 30 November 2021

Share



Related Articles

Government Announces £553m of Investment to Upgrade Public Buildings

Hundreds of public buildings in England will cut their use of fossil fuels and advance towards low carbon heating and energy efficiency upgrades, thanks to £553...

 Read Full Article
Workman Appointed Property Manager for Heal’s Building

Workman, the UK’s largest independent commercial property management and building consultancy firm, has been appointed by General Projects as property manager for...

 Read Full Article
Holbein Gardens – London's All-Electric Building

Holbein Gardens, located at 7 Holbein Place in the heart of London’s Belgravia, will lead the way for future schemes on the road to achieving net-zero...

 Read Full Article
New London Architecture to Reside at Coal Drops Yard

New London Architecture has chosen Coal Drops Yard for its initial residency from 21 June. The organisation will be creating a space where its members, community...

 Read Full Article
British Library Extension to Include Commercial Office Space

The British Library is to have an 800,000 sq ft extension to its King’s Cross site, with construction beginning in 2023. There will also be 100,000 sq ft of new...

 Read Full Article
Capco’s Covent Garden Estate Drops in Value

The total property value of Covent Garden is now £2.2 billion, a decrease of 17 per cent (like-for-like) since 31 December 2019. Capital & Counties...

 Read Full Article
High Performing Buildings – May's Roundup

This month’s high performing buildings roundup looks at the Crown palace property portfolio in and around London, as we gear up to celebrate the Queen’s...

 Read Full Article
What Does The Coronavirus Bill Mean For Commercial Landlords and Tenants?

The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 has recently been passed into law – ending the extended moratorium on tenant evictions for non-payment of...

 Read Full Article
TfL Searches for Partner to Expand Commercial Real Estate Portfolio

Transport for London is searching for a new joint venture partner to create a portfolio of three new commercial office developments at Bank, Paddington and...

 Read Full Article
Big Ben’s Refurbishment Continues – Clock Dials Now Visible

Clock mechanics have reconnected Big Ben’s West Dial to the original Victorian clock mechanism, meaning all four dials are visible for the first time since...

 Read Full Article