Luton Town scheme at Newlands Park won’t be called in by Secretary of State

Luton Town’s Newlands Park development will NOT be called in by Secretary of State James Brokenshire, it has been confirmed this lunchtime.

The Hatters saw their plans approved by Luton Borough Council last month, after they had also been given the green light for a new stadium at Power Court in January.

Luton Council wrote to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government after the approval at its March 11 development control meeting to inform the Government they were minded to grant planning permission for the office/leisure/retail scheme near J10 of the M1, subject to the satisfactory completion of a Section 106 Agreement.

The application required referral to the Secretary of State under the Town and Country Planning (Consultation) (England) Direction 2009 as it included a retail and leisure development of more than 5,000sq metre on an out-of-centre site.

On receipt of this letter the Secretary of State had 21 days to consider if he wanted to call in the application for determination himself, this was due to expire at the end of today (April 9).

There had been speculation that the decision may have been put on hold to allow more time for the Secretary of State to assess the scheme and decide whether to call it in.

Newlands Park

Newlands Park

But a council spokesman told Luton Today this lunchtime: “The council has today received formal confirmation from the Secretary of State that he will not be calling in the Newlands Park planning application.”

Hatters have said the Newlands Park project is crucial to helping them fund the Power Court stadium.

READ MORE: Gary Sweet’s reaction. Click here

READ MORE: Supporters’ Trust chairman’s thoughts. Click here