AEG Europe is pushing political leaders to block the construction of the MSG Sphere in London.
The London Legacy Development Corporation’s Planning Decisions Committee greenlit the MSG Sphere project. Now it is awaiting final approval from London Mayor Sadiq Khan. But AEG Europe is hoping to stop the project by writing a letter to both Mayor Khan and Michael Gove will bring a halt to the project by refusing the application.
AEG Europe Executive VP Alistair Wood says the LLDC’s planning decision process is at odds with the local communities the MSG Sphere will impact. “With the LLDC due to be disbanded at the end of next year, it would be democratic for the Government to intervene and back the wishes of elected councils in east London who want this inappropriate development blocked to protect the well being of local people and existing businesses.”
MSG has been planning a Sphere in London since 2017, but an application was first submitted to the LLDC in 2019. Since then, it has met considerable resistance from local councils like the Newham Council, the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Historic England, and local residents.
“Since these proposals first emerged back in 2017, AEG has consistently raised its objections to the unacceptable impact that this proposal will have on the operation of The O2 and the hundreds of residents who will be even more directly affected,” Wood continues.
AEG also argues that the local public transportation infrastructure cannot support two similar capacity arenas and says the MSG Sphere would “blot London’s skyline.” Gove is reviewing the application for a potential future call-in by issuing an Article 31 holding directive. The review process temporarily prevents LLDC and the mayor from signing off on plans to build on the former coach park next to Westfield Stratford City.
“Michael Gove has no issued a legal notice, and I’m hoping he’ll act,” tweeted Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham. “The undemocratic LLDC steamrolled all local election opposition, so it’s only right to take the final decision out of their hands.”