Luton Council have confirmed this afternoon that the Mall owners Capital & Regional have formally applied to the High Court for a Judicial Review into Luton Town's plans for a mixed use scheme at Newlands Park.
The Hatters were given the green light back by the council back in March for the development, which is essential to help finance a new stadium at Power Court.
However, long-term opposition Capital & Regional have now officially carried out their threat of a JR within the permitted deadline, as a statement on the council's Facebook page said: "On 11 March 2019 the Council’s Development Control Committee resolved to grant planning permission for the Newlands Park planning application for a mixed-use gateway scheme incorporating offices, retail and leisure.
"It was then referred to the Secretary of State who chose not to “call in” the application.
"As a result, the council issued the final decision following the signing of the S106 legal agreement on 24 September 2019.
"After the lawyers representing Capital & Regional notified us of their intention to launch a legal challenge into the decision, we considered the matters they raised and responded in a letter firmly rebutting the grounds of challenge with the reasons why.
"Following this we have now received papers confirming that Capital and Regional have formally challenged the decision through the courts, which was done within the permitted timeline following the council’s decision being published.
"We remain entirely confident that the decision making process contained no legal flaws, which is a view supported by our legal representatives who have been scrutinising the grounds for challenge put forward.
"We are both surprised and disappointed that this action is being taken, and concerned about the potential cost to Luton taxpayers and the inevitable delays in this beneficial development coming forward.
"It is right that we vigorously defend the decision and we intend to do so."
The case will now be reviewed by a judge over the next few weeks to decide whether or not it will receive a hearing.