UK Housing Secretary Gove will re-review London Sphere planning permission after Mayor’s refusal
Two weeks after London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced his refusal of planning permissions for the controversial MSG Sphere development planned in East London, the UK’s housing chief has issued a rebuke that may leave some glimmer of hope for the project’s eventual realization.
Several UK-based outlets are now reporting that Housing Secretary Michael Gove has asked the London Legacy Development Corporation to have the plans reviewed personally by his office before a final decision can be made. The countermand means another six week’s wait for the project, which has caused a torrent of backlash from critics and local residents since first being introduced in January of 2018.
James Dolan, Executive Chairman of the Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., however, told the Evening Standard that Khan’s decision was the “end of the line” for his company’s pursuit of the project in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The Architects’ Journal reported the company’s plans to sell the land parcel it had purchased in advance of the development. Other cities outside the UK are now being considered for a restart, according to statements provided by Sphere Entertainment, the entity in charge of the Sphere and its now-open Las Vegas counterpart.
Khan had cited a WSP report on the project that questioned some of the environmental impact assessments in his decision, adding that the issue of light pollution was another decisive factor. No further plans for the 4.7-acre plot have been presented. Populous was in charge of the design, which would have cost around £800 million ($979 million USD) to construct.