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Network Rail withdraws objections to MSG Sphere

PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:25 21 September 2020

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

Network Rail has withdrawn its objections to a live music and entertainment hub which if built could see up to 21,500 visitors flock to Stratford.

CGI of the proposed MSG Sphere. Picture: MSGCGI of the proposed MSG Sphere. Picture: MSG

After discussions with Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation, the railways owner has said its objections can be removed, subject to confirmation of planning conditions and Section 106 obligations.

It had raised concerns about safety at Stratford station as well as the impact on drivers of glare from ads and notices displayed on the dome shaped MSG Sphere’s illuminated surface.

The news came as MSG Entertainment submitted more reports, requested by the London Legacy Development Corporation. LLDC is the planning authority which will decide on whether or not the scheme goes ahead.

Jayne McGivern, executive vice president of development and construction at MSG Entertainment, said: “We are pleased to provide additional details in support of our planning application for MSG Sphere, underlining our commitment to create jobs and boost the local economy.

“The materials reflect the constructive dialogue we have had with a range of stakeholders, and further demonstrate the careful consideration that has gone into every aspect of our plans.

“We are confident our proposal thoughfully sets out how we will deliver a world-class venue, and remain excited about the opportunity to bring MSG Sphere to London.”

MSG Entertainment has presented a number of voluntary conditions for planning committee members to consider. They follow feedback on the scheme from LLDC and the community, MSG has said.

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The conditions include limits around MSG Sphere’s operating hours, event timings and the external display, including restrictions on overnight lighting.

There are also extra measures to coordinate event arrival and departure times for visitors to the sphere and neighbouring venues, including London Stadium.

The submission includes a proposal to provide 111 blue badge parking spaces at Stratford International Station with a free mobility assistance service to the venue. MSG Entertainment hailed the provision as the largest scheme of its kind for any UK arena.

READ MORE: Potential rivals square up over bid to build MSG Sphere in Stratford



MSG has also submitted expert reports that were commissioned to provide extra information on areas including road and rail safety, transport and further operational plans.

The updated plan sets out how the proposed additional entrance and ticketing hall at Stratford Station would improve access and reduce congestion.

The documents can be viewed on the LLDC planning portal webpage.

READ MORE: Newham locals say fears ‘re-validated’ at fiery MSG Sphere event in Stratford



A further round of public consultations is due to follow. A date has not yet been set to determine the bid.


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