Controversial plans for a huge spherical events arena in Stratford have been thrown out by the Mayor of London.

Sadiq Khan has refused permission for the construction of the MSG Sphere, a proposed 21,500-capacity venue for music and entertainment.

The plans have been widely opposed, with Newham Council, AEG Europe - which runs the o2 Arena - and residents all against the scheme.

Some of those who lived nearby threatened to move out of the area if the plans came to fruition.

It was approved by the London Legacy Development Corporation's planning committee last year but had to be green-lit by Mr Khan.

Announcing his decision to refuse, a spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “London is open to investment from around the world and Sadiq wants to see more world-class, ambitious, innovative entertainment venues in our city.

“But as part of looking at the planning application for the MSG Sphere, the mayor has seen independent evidence that shows the current proposals would result in an unacceptable negative impact on local residents.”

Issues surrounding the "uncertainty of impact and the scale of objections" contributed to the decision, they added, with many complaints relating to light intrusion from the large structure. 

A spokesperson for Sphere Entertainment hit out at the "disappointing" decision.

It also runs Sphere, a similar venue in Las Vegas which could be seen as part of the backdrop to last weekend's Las Vegas Grand Prix.

They added: "There are many forward-thinking cities that are eager to bring this technology to their communities.

"We will concentrate on those.” 

Newham Recorder: Sadiq Khan has rejected the plansSadiq Khan has rejected the plans (Image: (Yui Mok/PA))

Opponents welcomed the news with Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz calling it a "victory for the community" in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Campaign group Stop MSG Sphere tweeted: "Today's decision is a testament to the power of local residents and grassroots campaigns, and to the value that can come from local politicians supporting them.

"We are proof that David can win over Goliath."

Mr Khan's spokesperson said an expert review by WSP found concerns.

It found that "the illuminated sphere, in conjunction with other artificial lighting within the proposed development and how it is operated, would be likely to have significant adverse effects on occupiers of nearby residential premises". 

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The review also identified "unacceptable harm to hundreds of residents".

This applied to homes in the New Garden Quarter residential development, homes in the Legacy Tower/Stratford Central and student rooms in the Unite student accommodation. 

Alistair Wood, executive vice president of real estate and development at AEG Europe, said: "We do not oppose competition in the live entertainment industry, and specifically do not oppose another large music venue in London.

"However, this proposal had fundamental flaws from the beginning. It was the wrong design, in the wrong location, and this was the right call.”

But Lloyd Johnson, chair of Newham Chamber of Commerce, was disappointed at the decision.

The scheme would have brought millions of pounds in revenue yearly for businesses and created jobs for local residents, he argued.

Mr Johnson said: “As a global destination, Sphere would attract visitors year-round to Newham, which would have benefited our shops, bars, restaurants and hotels.

"Sphere presented a great opportunity that would have created direct investment in our area. This is a huge loss for London and for the businesses and residents of Newham."