Save Our Town and Luton Town Supporters' Trust chairmen react to changing focus of Hatters' plans
Save Our Town and Luton Town Supporters' Trust have praised the Hatters for making positive changes to their plans for a Power Court stadium and the enabling development at Newlands Park.
Luton Town announced last week amended proposals and timescales for construction at both sites as the country tries to recover from the global pandemic and the challenges faced by the retail/business sector.
And Nigel Green, chairman of Save Our Town, said the changes were to be welcomed, and praised 2020 Developments, the property arm of Luton Town, for their clear vision for Luton's future.
Mr Green said: "The Planning Statement published on Thursday by 2020 Developments changes very little in the bigger scheme. The majority of changes are within the original plans. Power Court will still be the driver for town centre regeneration with Newlands Park retaining its planned role as an out of town retail/business complex.
"Save Our Town are very pleased that 2020 have reacted quickly to the rapidly changing economic landscape and believe the fact they have, is tribute to the fact that they have a clear vision for Luton’s future and have amended their plans accordingly.
"Key in the Power Court proposals is the increase in residential units to 1,200. With 20% of the units allocated for local housing this will go some way to addressing the council’s shortfall of around 8,000 units.
"We welcome this and other amendments to the original plan including opening up and retaining the original course of the River Lea so it becomes part of the central plaza within Power Court.
"Save Our Town believe that ‘community is key’ and with the proposed facilities at Power Court that vision will be achieved. The new plans also dovetail into the recently closed Luton Borough Council Town Centre Masterplan that will improve the George Street - Power Court corridor.
"Residents and businesses in Luton have waited a long time for the town centre to be improved, in addition, the town has recently taken a battering from COVID. 2020 have taken positive steps in addressing these issues with their updated proposals.
"Newlands Park remains central to the plans and once again 2020 have reacted in a positive way to economic change. Whilst the internal make-up of the site will slightly change, the important point to remember is around 4,000 jobs will be created and £240 million a year put into the economy of Luton. Save Our Town applaud those figures which will help the council steer through financially choppy waters in the years ahead.
"Football fans and supporters of these schemes welcome the provisional timescale for these projects. The fans are focussed on 2024 for the first match at the new stadium, who will the opposition be?"
Meanwhile, Tony Murray, Luton Town Supporters' Trust chairman viewed changes to the schemes as inevitable given the current economic and social climate.
He said: "Retail is undergoing a major upheaval. Newlands Park and, therefore, Power Court have to reflect this.
"As a supporter of Luton Town I just want to see a new, state-of-the-art stadium that will enable the ambitions of the club to compete at the highest level possible.
"As a Lutonian I want to see regeneration of the town centre and the economic benefits that the schemes will bring.
"This is a great town and the community deserve facilities that will reflect and enhance that."