Developer claim plans for London’s MSG Sphere music venue were “hijacked” by Sadiq Khan

today05/12/2023 7

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MSG has released a new statement after plans to build a Sphere music venue in Stratford were rejected by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

The proposed venue would replicate the already running Sphere in Las Vegas with an estimated 1,000,000 LED light bulbs and bright advertisements on its exterior.

The venue was first proposed in 2018, however, last month, Khan sided with locals and rejected the build at the planning stage of the venue.

Read this next: Las Vegas’ MSG Sphere has reportedly lost $98.4 million

Since then, the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove ordered a six-week pause to consider calling in the Mayor’s decision.

Gove’s department plans to instruct Khan not to scrap planning proposals in a written letter to the London Legacy Development Corporation, The Standard reports.

The letter asks for Khan to “consider whether he should direct under section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act that the application should be referred to him for determination.”

Read this next: Sadiq Khan: “Music crosses barriers of race, religion, class and postcode like nothing else can”

MSG has since shared a new statement from a Sphere Entertainment spokesperson with Mixmag. It reads: “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.

The statement continues: “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.”

Mixmag has reached out to Sadiq Khan and MSG for a statement.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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