London Mayor Sadiq Khan has rejected a planning application for the MSG Sphere.
Local campaigners have contested the proposals. Now Khan has ruled that the illuminated venue “would result in an unacceptable negative impact on local residents”.
The 21,500-capacity venue had been approved by planning authorities at the London Legacy Development Corporation, which oversees the Olympic Park site.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment has described the Sphere as “a state-of-the-art music and entertainment venue that will pioneer the next generation of immersive experiences”. It recently launched the MSG Sphere venue in Las Vegas with U2.
Responding to the rejection of the planning application, MSG said they were “disappointed in London’s decision”.
“There are many forward-thinking cities that are eager to bring this technology to their communities,” said the venue operator. “We will concentrate on those.”
AEG Europe, owner of The O2, had opposed the building of a new venue in Stratford, East London.
In a report, City Hall said the external illumination would “cause significant light intrusion resulting in significant harm to the outlook of neighbouring properties, detriment to human health, and significant harm to the general amenity enjoyed by residents of their own homes”.
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.”
Michael Gove, the Secretary Of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, could in theory still call in the planning application for a final decision.
MSG is already looking at other cities globally to launch the Sphere concept.