Hatters chief executive says council officers will begin writing committee report on stadium plans shortly

Architect Manuel Nogueira (left) and Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet with the Power Court stadium model
Architect Manuel Nogueira (left) and Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet with the Power Court stadium model

Luton Town chief executive Gary Sweet says the club’s plans for a new stadium at Power Court and enabling development at Newlands Park are in ‘good shape’.

In recent weeks the club has been continuing to address questions put to it by Luton Borough Council’s planning department about the applications for a new 17,500 ground at Power Court along with a scheme for land adjacent to Junction 10, to include offices, retail space, a hotel and leisure amenities, which were validated on the Luton Borough Council website back in August last year.

Mr Sweet, who has previously said the club is doing all it can to make their plans ‘virtually unchallengeable’, told the Luton News this week that most matters had now been covered and that council officers would soon be writing their committee report, which would weigh up the strength of the proposals and include a recommendation on whether the plans should be backed by councillors.

He said: “We have worked harder than ever recently to address the small number of questions left unanswered. We have gone way beyond what you would ordinarily expect for an outline planning application.

“The application is at the detailed stage and we are in good shape.

“We would prefer to have no objectors [The Mall has objected].

“I think we have done everything the council has asked of us. There are just one or two things left before they start to write the committee report, which we anticipate being considered this summer.”

Lutonians are currently being invited to comment on the proposed main modifications to the Luton Local Plan 2011-2031, which includes ruling out a Hatters stadium near Stockwood Park.

Currently, the Local Plan officially makes provision for a football ground at land south of Stockwood, but Luton Town has made it clear that it will not build a stadium on the site near M1 Junction 10.

The proposed modifications says the land should be allocated as a “prestige gateway business development”, but strikes out the reference to relocating the Hatters there.

Of Power Court’s future the Local Plan modifications state: “The following uses are all acceptable in principle as components of a mixed use development; housing, convenience and comparison retail forming a retail, leisure, cultural and entertainment uses and B1 offices.”

Luton residents and businesses can comment on all the proposed main modifications to the Local Plan up until Friday, May 26.

Go to https://consult.luton.gov.uk/portal to view and comment and to find out what happens next.