Moment of truth for C&R as Judicial Review deadline looms over Newlands Park

Hatters fans are keeping their fingers crossed as the deadline looms for Capital & Regional to submit a High Court application for a Judicial Review (JR) into Newlands Park.

By Stewart Carr
Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 6:07 pm

There is still no confirmed news on whether C&R has filed paperwork for the review it had been threatening.

Although the cut-off date to submit the application is said to be 5pm today (Tuesday), C&R has not confirmed this despite repeated requests.

Luton Borough Council – who would fight the potential JR – told the Luton News that C&R had a legal obligation to alert them of any application by November 8.

Newlands Park

A council spokesman said it had received no notification from the High Court so far.

Today, campaign group Save Our Town likened the proposed JR to a “modern gunpowder plot”.

They stated: “Today is the final day for anyone still opposing Newlands Park – despite overwhelming public and political support – to apply to the High Court for a JR.

“To do so will be nothing short of a modern gunpowder plot, with the aim of killing the hopes and dreams of ordinary Lutonians and the promise of a bright new future for our town.”

Luton Town FC chief executive Gary Sweet said he would be “gobsmacked” if the law firm representing C&R went ahead with its threat of a JR.

Writing in Saturday’s match programme, Mr Sweet said: “Clearly, it is hoped that no challenge will be forthcoming despite the council’s receipt of a ‘Pre-Action Protocol’ letter from C&R’s lawyer ... in relation to our Newlands Park scheme.

“Personally, I would be literally gobsmacked if our planning opponents had the audacity and bluster to push the button on an action that would effectively ‘declare war on the people of Luton’, as exclaimed by our two chief supporters’ groups this week.

“The arguments put forward in the letter-before-action were, in my mind, weak and toothless and I would suggest, knowingly so.

“I would find it hard to believe that any senior legal advisor would recommend that their client commits not only themselves to a significant expense, but much more so for the taxpayers of Luton in order to merely delay an inevitable outcome.

“Furthermore, should they be imprudent enough to challenge, I would be somewhat surprised if the High Court gave it enough substance to invest valuable and expensive court hearing time.