London mayor rejects plan for Vegas-style giant sphere in Stratford

MSG Sphere Stratford
The sphere would be covered in more than a million LED lights that could display images (Image: MSG)

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has blocked plans to build a huge 21,500-capacity Vegas-style dome in East London.

Khan made his decision on three key grounds: light pollution; huge electricity bills; and the impact on heritage sites in the area.

The large-scale live music and entertainment venue, designed by architect Populous, would be next to Stratford Station. At 100m high and 120m wide, it would be a copy of the Madison Square Garden Sphere in Las Vegas. It would be covered in more than a million LED panels that could display images on the surface of the building.

The independent Planning Decisions Committee approved the full planning permission for the MSG Sphere in May 2022.

A report published by the London Assembly in May stated that the mayor should reject the planning application to prevent light pollution impacts on the surrounding environment and residents.

“If the planning application is judged to need determination by the secretary of state, then the secretary of state should refuse on the same grounds,” said the report.

Although the mayor has the power to overrule local planning authorities, the UK government may still reverse the decision.

A spokesperson for Sphere Entertainment 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.”

Story for CM? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News