Stop the MSG Sphere - Stratford needs social houses, not a sun-blocking events arena!
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Madison Square Garden Company (MSGC) are proposing a massive arena in Stratford, E20, in a residential area.
Details from MSGLondonConsultation.com (emphasis added by us):
"While the proposals in Stratford are still being developed, the venue has a scalable capacity of more than 18,000 seated, or 21,500 when there is a mixture of seating and standing space.
Featuring an iconic spherical shape, our proposals are for a venue approximately 90 metres high with a diameter of around 120 metres.
The venue will be clad in triangular LED panels which, when active, will display a range of static and moving images including partnership branding, advertising, digital art, and content related to the events within the venue."
This building would block sunlight to several residential blocks, while also increasing footfall to local stations, which are already struggling with overcrowding. The proposed venue is vast - the same diameter as the London Eye, and almost as tall as Big Ben (96m).
The LED cladding would also create light pollution for local residents - many of whom will be overshadowed by the Sphere and potentially kept awake by it's customers and the bright light and advertising displays, beamed onto their homes from directly across the road.
The promotional images from MSGC do not accurately show the close proximity of residential properties - the land is directly across the road from a low to mid-rise social housing estate to the east/north-east, and adjacent to a mid-rise residential development which is still under construction, located to the north of the site.
There are many new developments in the E20 area, and most residents we've spoken to were unaware of the plans, or that a consultation by MSGC had taken place. Once shown the plans, most locals were deeply worried about issues such as the increased traffic (foot and car), noise and potential street crime.
Our borough already struggles to deal with crime, pollution, street cleaning, and providing truly affordable housing. This development takes up 5 acres of Olympics "Legacy" land, managed and sold by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and has been sold to MSGC for a project that we fear will only make life worse for local residents.
Our existing transport infrastructure, both public transport and road networks, is regularly swamped, with illegal levels of air pollution on our roads, and dangerous overcrowding at Stratford station that has already resulted in tragic loss of life. There is nothing in the proposals to suggest improvements needed to ensure safety for travellers - commuters and event attendees alike.
2% of attendance crowds are proposed to be routed to Maryland station, however this would require thousands of people to use small, residential roads to reach the station. Understandably, residents are concerned about the additional noise and risks this could entail.
Newham's Police service is currently struggling as crime numbers have risen 16% between April 2016 and March 2018. The addition of 18-21,000 event-goers regularly coming in to the area, and then leaving late at night, often under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, would hugely increase potential for street crime, and anti-social behaviour.
On days when there are also West Ham matches, or other events at the Stadium the area would require additional security and stewards, which might come out of the public purse.
We want a proper, independent consultation and planning process, to give all residents opportunities to engage with the project and raise their objections/concerns. A proposal of this type and size should not have been considered for such a densely populated urban environment. The impacts of this proposal on transport infrastructure and residents' quality of life, both in the immediate and wider local area, far outweigh MSGC's suggested benefits.
We call on the LLDC, Newham Council, Mayor Roksana Fiaz, and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, to work with residents to ensure the Olympic Legacy land is used for the benefit of the local communities - who too frequently have been priced out by new developments, not served by them.
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