Luton Town have whetted the appetite for their planned new stadium at Power Court by releasing a series of images showing how the derelict site could be transformed.
As fans continue to wait patiently for a date when the Hatters’ plans will go finally before Luton Borough Council, the club has provided the Luton News with a series of exclusive graphics which show the regeneration potential of the site should the plans be approved.
Luton Town remain confident the Power Court stadium as well as Newlands Park’s retail, office and leisure space near J10 of the M1 will be supported by councillors when the development control committee finally gets to vote on the applications which were submitted back in August 2016. The Luton News understands it is hoped this will be by the end of October, with a planning officer currently compiling his report to the committee which will recommend whether members should approve the applications.
The Hatters say their plans are a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to regenerate Luton, bringing 10,000 jobs and £250m per year to the town’s economy.
Chief executive Gary Sweet said: “Whilst planning work has been ongoing for over two years now, other than working hard to respond to all questions and technical queries, we didn’t want to sit still, so we’ve been working through some of the more technical elements of the stadium design as well as those complexities of the sub-station and the landscaping designs for the river.
“What you see here are some of the updated visuals from our work. We’re very conscious that the stadium will sit proudly facing St Mary’s Church and very close to the great work Luton Culture are doing with the Cultural Quarter.
“Our stadium façade won’t look like a typical, modern stadium many of our supporters will see on their travels.
“We’ve borrowed some of the core architectural design qualities of the old hat factories along Guilford Street and Bute Street and some of the features of St Mary’s so the stadium will sit as a natural extension of those two areas of our town.
“We’ve also worked hard to give St Mary’s a stage along the river frontage which we think works really well – certainly a lot more complementary to our only grade 1 listed building than anything that has appeared before.”
Mr Sweet said the club was extremely eager to move ahead with construction as soon as they received the green light to do so, adding: “But as you can see from the designs, we’ve continued to progress matters without building.
“We’ve spent a massive sum at risk, without borrowing from banks or forward funding any part of our schemes. Taking initial sketched concepts to 3D CAD modelled designs, as you can see from the graphics shown, doesn’t come cheap and steps into the next phase of our development, the detailed application which we will need to submit after the outline approval.
“Make no mistake here, we’re taking this commitment very, very seriously. It’ll be our home, our future so we need to care passionately about the eventual outcome.
“Our football club has proudly resided at Kenilworth Road since 1905 and a relocation from our home was first talked about in 1957 – this giant leap is long overdue.
“But this isn’t just about football, this will change the town and improve the way all our communities will engage with each other.
“But we want to move faster and we want to make this a reality for the club and town to benefit. We see no reason why Luton should be held back any further.
“Both applications will unlock opportunities in the town as soon as they’re approved. There’s a strong argument to suggest, as many are, that we’re already having an impact on the town’s aspirations with so much development going on as we speak.
“A developer’s activity will be based upon their confidence in the town’s future ambition and we believe we’re shining a beacon for a brighter Luton with our two developments.”