UK government to review London Mayor's decision on MSG Sphere

UK government to review London Mayor's decision on MSG Sphere

Following last month’s decision by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to block the MSG Sphere development, it has been called in by ministers for review.

The 21,500-capacity venue had been approved by planning authorities at the London Legacy Development Corporation, which oversees the Olympic Park site.

However, Khan ruled last month that the illuminated venue “would result in an unacceptable negative impact on local residents”.

At the time, 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, has used his ministerial powers to call in the Mayor’s rejection of the proposed development. Planning minister Lee Rowley is taking the action for the department.

An associated application for illuminated advertising will also be considered by government ministers. In addition, there will be a local inquiry held regarding the planning application.

However, MSG signalled that it was looking elsewhere after several years of development in London.

A Sphere Entertainment spokeswoman said: “The entire five-year planning process was hijacked by the Mayor and his bogus last-minute report. Londoners should be dismayed that they are not going to benefit from this groundbreaking project, and others looking to invest in London should certainly be wary. Moreso, everyone should be alarmed by how easily the government’s established process was tossed aside by one politically motivated official. Mr Gove’s action, although commendable, still appears to us to be more of the same, and we cannot continue to participate in a process that can be so easily undermined by political winds. As we said previously, we will focus on the many forward-thinking cities.”


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