Sweet hopeful Power Court plans will be near enough ‘unchallengeable’

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

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Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet is confident the club are doing all they can to make their plans for a new stadium at Power Court virtually ‘unchallengable’ to anyone who opposes them.

Luton submitted a double proposal for a new 17,500 ground at Power Court along with the mixed use scheme on land adjacent to Junction 10 of the M1, to include offices, retail space, a hotel and leisure amenities back in August.

We are making sure that every single ‘i’ is ticked and ‘t’ is crossed so the case in favour of our application is – as near as any application could possibly get – unchallengeable.

Gary Sweet

Although it had been hoped a decision would be reached by the early part of this year, no updates are expected news will be known until the summer, as writing his programme notes ahead of the game with Blackpool on Saturday, Sweet said: “On that relocation subject, I apologise for not updating you more than we’ve been able to recently but, as you can imagine, we’re at the technical end of the application process as we speak.

“We are making sure that every single ‘i’ is ticked and ‘t’ is crossed so the case in favour of our application is – as near as any application could possibly get – unchallengeable.

“Of course, we are expecting the Council’s decision – should they give us a positive determination – to be challenged, as is usually the case.

“However, we’re confident that the challenge is unlikely to come from a statutory authority as we work with those bodies to ensure they are satisfied with every aspect of both schemes.

“We’re hoping we’ll be able to announce some good news this summer.

Sweet was also delighted to see the that the club’s plans become award-winning ones at a global architectural awards ceremony held recently in the south of France.

Manuel Nogueira, from AndArchitects, led a group from 2020 Developments (Luton) Ltd – the property arm of the Sky Bet League Two club – including Sweet and development director Michael Moran at MIPIM 2017, where plans for the new ground in the Sports & Stadiums category of The Architectural Review Future Projects Awards.

The plans for the ground on the derelict site of a former power station beat a strong field of competitors with the new Perth Stadium in Western Australia and Power Court shortlisted.

In addition to that success, the plans for Newlands Park received a commendation in the Regeneration & Masterplanning category, in which the winner was a Swedish development.

Sweet added: “The plans we have are so good, and so positive for our town, that they are already winning global awards!

“I was at MIPIM 2017 in Cannes three weeks ago where our master designers AND Architects, led by Manuel Nogueira, collected the Architectural Review Future Projects Award in the Sports & Stadiums category for the designs for Power Court.

“We also received a commendation in the Regeneration & Masterplanning category for Newlands Park.

“Naturally, we are more than delighted with these accolades from an esteemed panel of international judges who acknowledged our designs for their innovation and excellence from a design, engineering and planning perspective. Who could possibly argue with them.”