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New entrance for Stratford station detailed in revised MSG Sphere plans

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 December 2019

A computer-generated image of the proposed MSG Sphere in Stratford. Picture: MSG

A computer-generated image of the proposed MSG Sphere in Stratford. Picture: MSG

MSG

Stratford station could get a new entrance and ticket hall if a proposed 21,500-capacity entertainment venue is built next door.

Revised planning documents for the MSG Sphere, which have been submitted to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) detail how the new station entrance would help to "relieve congestion".

It comes after concerns were raised during the consultation period for the 90-metre high venue about the ability for the station - used by visitors to Westfield Stratford City and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as well as by commuters - to cope with the additional demand.

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) wants to build a live music hub on 4.7 acres of land west of Angel Lane which was used as a coach park during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

It would include an auditorium, concert hall, nightclub, members lounge, restaurants and shops, and be covered in a 'skin' of LED lights which would see images including adverts displayed on its surface.

The new station entrance - which would be adjacent to Platform 12 - would take around 18 months to build.

The documents state: "The new station entrance will be accessed from the eastern footway of Montfichet Road.

"During an egress of the proposed development, crowds will be managed through this new entrance and ticket hall in combination with the existing Northern Ticket Hall of Stratford station.

"The new entrance will not result in any change to the operational railway lines or alignments because there is adequate space around platforms 1, 2, 11 and 12 to accommodate the new entrance."

Additional pedestrian surveys were taken ahead of the revised application's submission and used to model the predicted crowds at the station.

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The documents state: "The reasonable worst case for public transport capacity is when both the proposed development and a London Stadium concert both have their ingress for a weekday evening event.

"When clashing with a maximum capacity concert, the proposed development would have to start one hour later than usual."

There was, the documents claim, no facility to model either that scenario or the similar scenario of an MSG Sphere event at the same time as a West Ham match at the London Stadium.

Another of the major issues highlighted during the consultation progress was the digital displays, which were branded "obtrusive and damaging" by objectors to the scheme.

The revised application features a reduction in the extent and placement of these displays, with four digital billboards being taken off - three on the east side and one on the south - as well as those on two bridges and on the Angel Lane approach.

It claims: "For 50 per cent of the time that MSG Sphere is illuminated, with the exception of any naming rights/event advertisement, it will be used for non-commercial content, digital art etc, and will become an iconic landmark for London and Stratford."

The revised application also offers a guarantee that all on-site jobs, both during construction and after opening, would be paid at least the London Living Wage, and that at least 35 per cent of jobs would go to local people.

MSG has also outlined plans for a community benefits programme to support education and the arts as well as provide the chance for nearby organisations to stage events at the venue.

Jayne McGivern, executive vice-president for development and construction at MSG said: "The views of the local community and our other stakeholders are incredibly important to MSG, and we've been listening to and acting on feedback from the LLDC and the community in east London since our plans were first submitted in March.

"Our updated plans for MSG Sphere give more detail about how we propose to create ground-breaking live entertainment events, bringing millions of pounds of investment to Newham and thousands of jobs to east London and the UK."

Two consultation events are taking place in Stratford ahead of the consultation's January 31 deadline.

One is at St John's Church in the Broadway on Monday, December 16 and the second is at Chandos Community Centre, Colgrave Road on Thursday, January 9. Both run from 5.30pm to 8pm.

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