Luton chief executive not worried about a Judicial review for Newlands Park

Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet

Luton chief executive Gary Sweet isn't overly worried about a Judicial review being called by objectors to Newlands Park after it received the go-ahead from Luton Borough Council last night.

The Hatters gained approval for their mixed use scheme yesterday evening, which is needed to finance a new ground at Power Court, for which they already have planning permission for, but now must wait to see whether the secretary of state will 'call-in' the project or if it has to go to a Judicial review, which challenges the decision made by the council.

However, when asked if that was a concern to him, Sweet told BBC Look East: "No, I don’t really worry about something I can’t control.

"If it comes our way, then we’ll deal with it. It’s likely to go the council’s way in that case, but we’ll support the council in that.

"We’ve been doing this now for around four years, so we kind of know what we are talking about and I think ultimately tonight, what it means is that it will happen, and the only thing that can occur from somebody else’s intervention is that there will be a delay.

“The secretary of state may well have a look at it to see if there is any kind of regional impact and to see if he agrees with the decision of the council.

"For us, it’s a local decision, so there should be no call-in.

“And then it is up to anybody if they want to challenge it through the judicial review process, which is them challenging the decision of the council.

"So we’ll probably need about four months before we absolutely know that none of those things will happen.”

Sweet didn't want to give out a potential date for moving into a new stadium either, adding: "One thing I thank everybody for is their patience, but I’m also going to ask for more because actually we can’t really give a date.

"I don’t necessarily want to do what Tottenham have done this year and announce a moving in date and then delay it.

“So when you get a date from us, it will be a realistic one, but enjoy Kenilworth Road for the next three or four years, is all I’m going to say.

"I did say to somebody the other day: ‘Are we moving in two years’ time?’ he asked me. I said ‘Well no, you want more time at Kenilworth Road than that to enjoy it, don’t you?’ And he said ‘Well yeah, I do really”.

“So enjoy Kenilworth Road for a bit yet and then hopefully it’ll be just around the corner from there.”