UK Government Steps in to Override London Mayor’s Sphere Veto

After London mayor, Sadiq Khan, rejected plans for the London MSG Sphere, the UK government is now stepping in to try and save the project. Khan rejected the MSG’s long-standing proposal to build the sphere last week, citing concerns about ‘significant light intrusion,’ impacts to the ‘character‘ and ‘appearance‘ of the town, and ‘energy-intensive use.’

According to The Standard, secretary Michael Gove has now ordered a six-week pause and his department is planning to instruct mayor Khan not to scrap planning proposals via a letter to the London Legacy Development Corporation.

The letter asks Khan to ‘consider whether he should direct under section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act that the application should be referred to him for determination.’

‘The Secretary of State hereby prohibits Your Local Planning Authority from implementing the Mayor’s direction of November 20 to refuse permission.’

-Letter from Michael Gove’s department.

Apparently, the secretary of state has the power to overrule the Mayor on his decision to cancel the venue’s development. Gove also indicated that he wanted the chance to research further into the development, which was initially approved by the London Legacy Development Corporation last year.

Las Vegas’ MSG Sphere, also run by Madison Square Garden Entertainment, has been experiencing its own troubles. Earlier this month, the venue reported a loss of $98.4 million and as a result, the CFO, Gautam Ranji, resigned from the multi-billion dollar venue. The venue, which first opened its doors just this past September, appeared to be a massive success with its innovative design and an extended U2 residency.