An artist's impression of The MSG Sphere (The Madison Square Garden Company)

An artist’s impression of The MSG Sphere (The Madison Square Garden Company)

Plans for a controversial Las Vegas-style concert venue in east London could be requested by the government.

Leveling Up and Housing secretary Michael Gove has hinted that he wants to look further into the MSG Sphere scheme in Stratford.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) last year approved plans for the 21,500-seat ball-shaped stadium and 1,500-capacity nightclub in a former Olympic coach park, despite fierce opposition from some locals.

Residents living near the proposed site have complained about the outdoor advertising displays made up of more than a million LED lights, saying they will cause unacceptable light pollution in the surrounding area.

Mr Gove has now charged that he wants to review the application, which is backed by Madison Square Garden Entertainment.

An Article 31 hold directive has been issued, preventing the LLDC and London Mayor Sadiq Khan from signing off on the plans before deciding whether they should be “called out” for further scrutiny.

Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz urged the minister to present the plans.

She said: “I have consistently raised concerns about the MSG Sphere and its adverse impact on our residents.

“I have written to Michael Gove to ask him to apply for determination… The health and well-being of Newham residents must come first.”

West Ham Labor MP Lyn Brown has also spoken out against the plans.

She told the Standard earlier this year: “The idea of ​​erecting a gigantic, advertising-covered glowing ball right in the middle of Stratford, and in direct view of many people’s homes, is appalling.

“Perhaps such a project would not be out of place in Las Vegas, where the first concept of the MSG Sphere is being ‘rolled out’. In Newham, however, this proposal is completely out of the question.”

A spokesperson for MSG Sphere London said it had always “hoped the government would take the opportunity to review” MSG Sphere’s application and that the formal notice had “absolutely no impact on our plans in any way.”


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