Plans for a massive Las Vegas-style “Sphere” entertainment venue on the edge of the Olympic park have been rejected by London mayor Sadiq Khan.
Mr Khan decided on Monday afternoon to block the giant eyeball-shaped dome proposed by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Company (MSG) on three key grounds, the Standard has learned.
These relate to concerns about the amount of light pollution that it would cause for Stratford residents, its huge electricity bill and associated lack of “green” credentials, and the impact it would have on heritage sites in the area.
However Mr Khan does not have the last say in the MSG Sphere application and it will now pass to Communities Secretary Michael Gove for a final ruling.
A spokesperson for the mayor 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.”
A Sphere Entertainment spokesperson said: “While we are disappointed in London’s decision, there are many forward-thinking cities that are eager to bring this technology to their communities. We will concentrate on those.” This appears to suggest that the plans for a London Sphere may never come to fruition. Other world cities have expressed interest in hosting a Sphere, with a memorandum of agreement already signed with the South Korean city of Hanam.
The Sphere, designed by architect Populous, would have been a copy of the Madison Square Garden Sphere in Las Vegas, a $2 billion arena that played host to U2 last month.
The London Sphere would be covered in LED panels and would stand almost 100m (300ft) high and 120m (360ft) wide. It would be built immediately to the east of the Olympic park, effectively on the opposite side of the railway tracks from the Westfield Stratford shopping Centre bus station, between Montfichet Road and Angel Lane.