Detailed designs for Luton Town's Power Court expected 'in coming months' as council approves ground works

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Detailed design plans for Luton Town Football Club’s new stadium are expected “in the coming months”, after the initial earthworks on the site have been approved, a meeting has heard.

Applicant 2020 Developments (Luton) Limited submitted full plans to the local authority “to move earth and create a development platform” at the Power Court site.

The ground works are required to enable the Hatters’ new home to be built on 21 acres of brownfield land within Luton town centre. That was agreed under previous planning consents, according to a report to the borough council’s development management committee.

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Principal planning officer David Hall told the committee: “Power Court has significant ground level changes across the site, particularly to the north-east.

CGI of Luton Town's planned stadium at Power Court (Leslie Jones Architecture)CGI of Luton Town's planned stadium at Power Court (Leslie Jones Architecture)
CGI of Luton Town's planned stadium at Power Court (Leslie Jones Architecture)

“The work will involve cut and fill, using earth on the site, with the cutting of 54,250 cubic metres of material, with a fill of 19,420 cubic metres and the removal of 34,830 cubic metres from this location,” he said.

“A traffic management plan has been requested. These proposals will result in the end of the short-term parking and the crushing of local material use.

“There are no objections on flooding and drainage subject to conditions, and no issues from the Environment Agency around contamination. It would be in accordance with the Luton Local Plan.”

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Chief operating officer for 2020 Developments Michael Moran explained: “These proposals represent a really important step to move us forward.

“As well as the stadium, the site is for housing, commercial and community uses. This will enable ground works to begin to bring forward sustainable development of a key strategic town centre location.

“The detailed stadium proposals will emerge in the coming months. This current application involves essentially transferring earth from one side of the site to the other.

“Those numbers put forward are the maximum figures being considered. We’ve been investigating the area with bore holes and trenching. We’re hopeful we can reduce those numbers significantly.

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“On transport, the amount of vehicle movements is within the range of the current operation of the site. All works on site will be carefully managed and controlled by the local contractors.”

Mr Moran added: “Transport, noise dust and vibration will be monitored and managed. The duration of works will be about 40 weeks and the contractors are ready to start once planning permission is granted.

“The ground works will be a temporary transitional phase for this site,” he added. “Hopefully then we’ll see the timely delivery of the stadium for Luton Town Football Club.”

Asked about the waterway, Mr Moran replied: “The River Lea is front and centre of all our plans. There’s a separate application for the River Lea to open up its entirety on the western side.

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“We’ll culvert it by the bottom of the stadium and also open it up at the eastern end. We’re using the council’s Silver Street scheme as a starting point for what we’re working on, so the proposals for the river aren’t denigrated in any way.”

Labour Central councillor Mohammed Yaqub Hanif said: “It’s good to see there’s something happening.” The committee unanimously approved the development.

The Hatters received initial planning permission for a new 17,500 stadium back in January 2019.