London’s Madison Square Garden Sphere Gets Planning Approval | London

A venue in east London, as wide as the London Eye and as high as Big Ben, has been approved by planners despite opposition from thousands of local people.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) made the decision on MSG Sphere, a live entertainment concept from New York company Madison Square Garden (MSG), on Tuesday night. If approved by the mayor, it would be built on an empty site between Stratford station and Olympic Park.

The 21,500-seat venue, reported to cost £ 800 million, is designed for “the next generation of immersive experiences”. It would have the largest and highest resolution LED display in the world, an “infrasound haptic system” of vibrating floors and “beam-forming” sound technology to channel sound to each seat.

The facade of the building is a spherical LED screen on two acres (five acres). It is expected to light up 24 hours a day and be covered in animated commercials half the time, flickering just outside people’s bedroom windows. Inside there will be restaurants and bars.

If built, MSG Sphere will become the largest concert arena in the UK, surpassing Manchester Arena (capacity 21,000) and London’s O2 Arena (20,000).

Proponents of the scheme, including the University of East London and former minister Matt Hancock, say it will boost the capital’s economy by £ 2.5bn, bringing construction and hospitality jobs to the area.

Paul Westbury, of MSG, said the application had undergone a “thorough assessment” and that the site would help make Stratford “a global destination for music and technology”, the Evening Standard reported.

But local people say it will ruin the area with noise and light pollution, predicting it will be like “living next to the sun’s surface”. More than 1,000 people objected to the plan application, while a petition calling for scrapping the scheme received more than 2,000 signatures.

Among those in opposition is Lyn Brown, West Ham MP, who described the place as a “monstrous” and said it would put pressure on the local transport network, especially at Stratford station, which is already a hub for commuters to Westfield shopping. center and West Ham Stadium with 60,000 seats.

In a statement, she said: “The last thing we need is another place that leaves its audience to an already crowded transport hub.”

Brown told The Guardian last summer: “I have for some time had serious concerns about the value of this proposed development, the degree of community consent it has involved, and the harm it can do to the people of Stratford and the surrounding area. “Newham does not want this place, but it is the LLDC, not the Newham Council, that can recommend Sadiq Khan if it is built.”

A spokesman for MSG Entertainment said: “We are pleased that the Planning Committee voted in favor of our vision for MSG Sphere. Throughout this process, we have worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders and are grateful for their cooperation, as reflected in our detailed We now look forward to the next steps in the approval process. “

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