A few years ago, we told you about the rather ballsy plans to bring a new 21,500 capacity entertainment venue to east London. A few months ago, those same plans were still very much in the pipeline. Today, Sadiq Khan has rejected the plans, based on the negative effects it would have on Stratford and its locals. Uh oh.
The Madison Square Garden group (MSG) initially applied for planning permission back in 2019. They had bought the 4.7 acre site in Stratford that has been sitting empty since 2012 and were keen to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. They proposed to build London’s answer to its Las Vegas counterpart – the MSG Sphere – which was opened back in September.
The big, round venue would have been almost 300ft tall and 360ft wide, complete with gigantic LED screens adorning its exterior. It’s no surprise that a lot of Londoners weren’t too keen on the idea. Petitions against the sphere have been happening since planning began.
Today it has been confirmed that the Mayor of London has sided with the locals. He has rejected the plans based on three key grounds: the amount of light pollution it would cause, the huge electricity bill it would rack up, and the negative impact it would have on the heritage sites in the area.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “London is open to investment from around the world and Sadiq wants to see more world-class, ambitious, innovative entertainment venues in our city.
“But as part of looking at the planning application for the MSG Sphere, the Mayor has seen independent evidence that shows the current proposals would result in an unacceptable negative impact on local residents.”
However, Khan doesn’t actually have the final say on the matter. It will now be passed over to the Communities Secretary, Michael Gove, who will give his verdict. You could say that the ball is in his court. See what I did there?