Hatters announce Power Court as preferred location for new stadium

The Hatters hope to move into the new ground in 2020
The Hatters hope to move into the new ground in 2020

Luton Town FC has announced that Power Court is its preferred site for a new 17,500 seater stadium.

The club expects to submit a planning application for its new home by the start of next season (August 2016).

Plans for Power Court, as seen from above

Plans for Power Court, as seen from above

Should that be agreed the Hatters hope to have the stadium ready for the start of the 2020-21 football season.

The club’s current home at Kenilworth Road, which is owned by Luton Borough Council, is likely to be used for housing.

Announcing the move this morning, Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet said: “Some people have said that this is the worst kept secret in town.

“I would go the other way and say that with the length of time we have been planning this it is incredible more hasn’t come out.

“This is our preferred site and the reason for that is that in order for a stadium to be built there it has to be paid for.

“It is a very difficult piece of land, that means it is expensive.”

He continued: “There are alot of pieces that need to be put in place and that is not done yet.

“But we are now in a position where we can call this our preferred site.”

As well as a new stadium the Power Court development would include apartment blocks and community use facilities.

Mr Sweet said that although the stadium will initially have enough room for 17,500 supporters, it can be expanded as the club grows.

The club has reached a deal in principle with British Land, which owns the site.

As things stand Luton Borough Council’s Local Plan has Power Court chalked up as a site for a retail development but the Hatters have proposed changes that would see it listed as the site for a new stadium.

Integral to the plans is a stretch of land by M1 junction 10a which the Hatters have bought and are set to develop for commercial use.

This will fund the move to Power Court without the need for loans, Mr Sweet said.

The club chief executive added: “This isn’t just going to be a football stadium, this will be a new hub in the town centre that will enrich and revitalise the town.

“It is badly needed.

“We need things like this to come alive and since we have taken a bold step with this other developers are thinking the same.

“Between two or three developers in town Luton could become a little bit of a special place again and we want to be a part of that.”

On the future of Kenilworth Road, Mr Sweet said: “Luton is desperate for housing, that’s one of the reasons why we are taking it upon ourselves to put as many apartments as possible on the Power Court site.

“Without me wanting to second guess anything it is likely to have a large chunk of housing.

“We have made a polite request that the site is recognised as to what it used to be.”