The MSG Sphere planning applications have been approved by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).
Now the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has to confirm that LLDC can grant planning permission, OR he can direct them to reject the applications.
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, can also dictate what the LLDC does, and he has indicated he may intervene.
Please click below to email both Sadiq Khan and Michael Gove to ask them to direct LLDC to reject the applications.
Personalise your emails if you can, e.g. say if you live in one of the Olympic boroughs (Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest).
Additional points you could include:Click to ask the Mayor of London to reject the application
The LLDC will be disbanded next year - Newham Council and its residents will have to deal with the consequences.
It’s unacceptable that residents within 150m will have to use blackout blinds to mitigate the Sphere’s light pollution.
LLDC acknowledges Stratford station will see worse congestion in some areas, including one of the subways, where a crush could easily happen.
Concurrent events at the Sphere and Stadium are inevitable and would see “significantly higher levels of crowding and delays”.
"Uncertainties" remain regarding road safety and distraction. More details are required before construction starts, but once permission is granted there'll be pressure to accept MSG’s submissions.
It does not comply with the London Plan as it has a modal share for cycling of just 0.44% with only 96 spaces for a 25,000 capacity site.
Click to ask Michael Gove to reject the application
We are a group of residents of Newham, who are terrified by the prospect of the proposed MSG Sphere that will severely blight the area, cause noise and light pollution, unmanageable overcrowding and transport chaos in Stratford and Maryland. The site of the proposed scheme is as close as 250 feet to residential properties and is surrounded by densely residential buildings on all 3 sides. Please read below the list of reasons why we think this project is unacceptable.
The proposal aims to bring up to 60,000 people daily to Stratford for a minimum of 300 days a year. The mega-structure will be 120 wide and 96,5 meters tall, towering over Stratford's residential properties with bright advertising and events planned all through the day and night.
The impact on transport will cripple not only Stratford station but also nearby stations and will have effects in parking shortages, transport chaos and dangerous overcrowding.
Severe implications on air pollution, quality of life for local residents, environmental damage, unacceptable levels of increased CO2 emissions and increased crime and anti-social behaviour.
3 years of construction including overnight construction followed by the brightest and noisiest venue London has known only few feet away from hundreds of homes.
Some of the reasons why we reject the MSG proposal
The issue for us is that you cannot simply open an additional 25,000 live music ticket per night in London without ensuring that existing cultural offers are either protected, or benefiting from such an additional offer, or that the market demand is sufficient to absorb this additionality. There is no evidence of live music demand to meet such a new offering, in fact, precisely the opposite.
Music Venue Trust has engaged with MSG multiple times across the last few years, and to date have not seen any commitments from the organisation to protect or benefit the grassroots live music sector. 25,000 additional tickets equates to the opening of an additional 79 grassroots music venues of the size of the iconic 100 Club, massively increasing market supply without adequately addressing how to manage this impact. MSG have consistently made noises about their support for the grassroots music ecosystem. At the present time this is the full extent of their commitment to recognise their impact on London's live music network. Without clear plans to support that ecosystem, the arrival of this new venue risks fundamentally undermining the whole ecosystem. Music Venue Trust therefore invites MSG, as we have done many times during the application, to formally layout how this development supports grassroots music talent development in London, how they will manage and mitigate the impact of the arena on the whole ecosystem, and what they propose in terms in reinvestment into that ecosystem on an ongoing and sustainable basis once the arena is operational.
Without those details, MVT is unable to support the proposal. Based on the current information to hand, we are forced to conclude that this proposal should not go ahead.
We would add that we are disappointed to see the language and work of Music Venue Trust misrepresented by MSG during this proposal. The Mayor of London's Grassroots Music Venue Rescue Plan (2015), authored by MVT, specifically deals with the various threats and challenges to the grassroots music venue sector. At no point does the report recommend that an appropriate response to those risks is the creation of an additional arena sized venue; in fact precisely the opposite. The report calls for all parts of the live music music industry to take action to protect London's Grassroots Music Venues. MSG have so far failed to bring forward any proposals of how the proposed development will aim for that purpose.Music Venues Trust
We asked the main candidates to sign our pledge: “I oppose the building of the proposed Madison Square Garden Sphere in Stratford and would oppose it if I am elected Mayor of London on 6 May 2021". Below are their responses.
Since it was first proposed the MSG development has concerned me and I have opposed it as a London Assembly Member. I am very happy to sign your pledge, and please keep in touch once the new Mayor and Assembly term starts so we can continue to help your campaignSian Berry Green Party candidate
It’s a strange moment when Newham residents and I join forces with Labour Party representatives against Sadiq Khan. But on this issue, all of us are agreed: Madison Square Garden’s Sphere must not go ahead.
Residents have fought for two years to stop this structure that will tower over local homes, cause unsustainable levels of traffic, and generate an unprecedented amount of light pollution in the area.
The planning application for this development rests solely with the mayor. And Sadiq Khan has made it clear that he won’t stop approval from being granted. But if I’m elected mayor, I’ll back local residents and ensure that Newham – not the LLDC - has the final say on planning approval. This is the fresh start that London needs.Shaun Bailey Conservative candidate
I very much share the concerns about this development, especially the impact on increasing traffic in London as clean air is one of my top priorities. In fact, Liberal Democrats have highlighted the congestion problems at Stratford for some time https://www.london.gov.uk/questions/2019/17039-0. I also understand the concerns about disturbance to residents, including noise and light pollution.Luisa Porritt Liberal Democrat candidate
Candidates for Mayor are not allowed to pre-judge planning applications which may appear before them as Mayor. However, I can assure you that I would be very concerned about the proposals and want to engage closely with the residents who would be affected to make sure that their views were being heard loudly and clearly throughout the planning process.
As a Liberal Democrat, I believe that development must not be done 'to' communities, but should be done 'with' communities, listening to their needs. That is why my plan to take London forward focuses on reinventing high streets and neighbourhoods working with the residents who live there. Communities should determine the investment in and development of the types of services and facilities they want and need in their local neighbourhoods."
I have made this clear in my manifesto which you can see at https://www.luisa4london.co.uk/plan