Luton Town expect to submit final plans for a new stadium at Power Court in six months time

2020 release Planning Statement to Luton Borough Council

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 5:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 6:52 pm
An artist's impression on how Power Court will look

Luton Town have revealed they plan to submit their final plans for a new stadium at Power Court in six months time.

The Hatters were awarded planning permission for the ground by Luton Borough Council in January 2019, along with a mixed use scheme at Newlands Park just two months later.

However, they have been unable to start building on either site since, due largely to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A Planning Statement submitted by 2020 Developments (Luton) Ltd on behalf of Luton Town FC to Luton Borough Council for the East End & West End Power Court Luton has detailed changes to developments surrounding the stadium and given a clearer timescale of when the Hatters, who had announced in December they were looking to play a first game at the new venue in 2024, will publish their final proposal.

It detailed a new public plaza to be built, plus making 375 new jobs in retail, restaurant and bar uses, while also including 1,200 residential units, along with a health centre.

An education facility is also being considered, although plans to include a foodstore might now not go ahead.

The Statement read: “The development proposals have been critically analysed following the granting of permission and as part of the design process, it has become clear that several changes can be made to enhance the scheme.

"Whilst the principals included in the extant consent remain unchanged, this application seeks consent to incorporate the following improvements.

"Densification of the residential element of the site which allows for the delivery of 20% affordable homes on the site.

"Removal of the podium across the west and east ends of the site to improve permeability in and around the site, as well as with the town centre.

"Introduction of a new, centrally located plaza within the site that will be a similar size to George's Square.

"Improved landscaping and design around the de-culverted River Lea which will be opened up through the site

"Introduction of a statement landmark taller building that will assist wayfinding to the football stadium and new mixed-use quarter.

"The new football stadium for Luton Town is and will remain at the heart of the Power Court development.

“Whilst the stadium is not included as part of this application, it is being designed in detail to be submitted later in 2021.

"The focal point of the stadium, together with the other town centre uses will bring further vibrancy to this new quarter.

"The club remains fully committed to delivering the new stadium at Power Court and are engaging in discussions with the project team and Luton Borough Council to bring forward this part of the proposals which includes a music venue, hotel and other associated uses.

"It is expected that detailed proposals for the stadium will be submitted in six months time.

"Given that these discussions are ongoing, for the purposes of the current outline application the orientation and design of the stadium is assumed to be as per the existing concerns.

"This allows the team to undertake a proper robust assessment based on a detailed, testing design for the stadium that has been consented.

"If any changes to this orientation are required, these will be consulted on and form part of the detailed proposals submitted later this year.”

Despite the delay, 2020 believes the finished scheme will prove to give the area a huge boost , as the statement continued: “It will bring about significant betterment to Luton town centre.

“Luton Town Football club has been at the heart of the community for over 100 years.

"It is this relationship and the principle of being a 'community club' that must be safeguarded in the future.

"Through allowing the extant consent, it is clear that the local community and Council recognised the major benefits that the development of Power Court will bring to the town centre.

"These proposals will create the setting for the centerpiece of the redevelopment, the new stadium for the club in the central plot, opposite St Mary's Church.

"These proposals will have significant beneficial impacts on the surrounding area, ranging from direct impacts through employment creation, to its capacity to stimulate regeneration and boost the local economy.

"The existing site has a negative impact on the visual amenity of the area, the image of Luton and detracts from the setting of the Grade I Listed St Mary's Church and the setting of the Plaiters Lea Conservation Area.

"Redeveloping Power Court to meet demand for housing, leisure, uses and creating a new public plaza with the de-culverted River Lea as a focal point, will significantly improve the perception and appearance of the area.

"The proposals will transform this key site to an active, vibrant, and attractive gateway to the town centre.

"In short the redevelopment of Power Court will rejuvenate and regenerate the town centre to the benefit of the local people, environment and economy.

"The current outline application has focussed on creating a proposal, that will benefit Lutonians and the new residents of Luton's newest quarter

"In addition to the direct benefits of new investment, jobs, sporting facilities, and amenities for the town, this improvement in perception for the town will itself be a great catalyst for the wider renaissance of Luton over the coming decades.

"The current application builds upon the principles accepted for the extant consent and will create the setting for the new stadium.

“The proposals will see a disused area of land, which blights the town centre, be redeveloped and regenerated to provide a high-quality public realm, compromising a complementary land uses that enhance the local setting and context.”