The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has refused a planning application for the construction of the MSG Sphere London, a spherical music venue designed by Populous. The decision was made due to concerns about the unacceptable harm it would cause to hundreds of residents in Stratford, east London.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) commissioned an expert review by global engineering firm WSP which revealed significant errors and omissions in the applicant’s assessment. The report highlighted that the illuminated sphere, along with the artificial lighting within the development, would have significant adverse effects on the nearby buildings and their occupants. Furthermore, there were substantial concerns regarding the height, massing, and energy usage of the MSG Sphere, making it an unsustainable and incongruous development.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London expressed disappointment in the decision but stated that the company behind the MSG Sphere, Sphere Entertainment, would focus on bringing this technology to other forward-thinking cities. However, the planning application is not completely abandoned as it now awaits the decision of UK Secretary of State Michael Gove on whether to call it in for further review.
The MSG Sphere London would have been 90 meters tall and 120 meters wide, making it an imposing structure. The proposal faced significant opposition from the local community, with 852 objections raised against the project. Despite receiving some support, including 355 responses in favor, concerns about its impact on the area’s character and appearance prevailed.
While the rejection of the MSG Sphere London is a setback for the project, it highlights the importance of considering the needs and concerns of local residents in the planning process. The decision also prompts a closer examination of sustainability and design standards for ambitious entertainment venues in the future.
Q: What is the MSG Sphere London?
A: The MSG Sphere London is a spherical music venue designed by Populous.
Q: Why was the planning application rejected?
A: The planning application was rejected due to concerns about the negative impact on the local residents and the unsustainable design of the proposed venue.
Q: What are the next steps for the project?
A: The planning application awaits the decision of UK Secretary of State Michael Gove on whether to call it in for further review.
Q: How was the decision received by Sphere Entertainment?
A: Sphere Entertainment expressed disappointment but clarified that they would focus on bringing this technology to other cities.
Q: How did the local community respond to the proposal?
A: The proposal received significant opposition, with 852 objections raised against the project.