Luton director asks for patience as Hatters enter the 'end game' over Power Court and Newlands Park

Luton Town director Stephen Browne has called for patience from fans over news of a start date for work at Power Court and Newlands Park.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 11:16 am
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 11:31 am
An artists impressions of how Power Court could look

The Hatters received approval from Luton Borough Council for a mixed use scheme at Newlands Park earlier this month, which is essential in order to finance a new 17,500 stadium at Power Court.

Supporters are now eager to know when the club can begin work on either proposal and writing in his programme notes this week, Browne gave an update on just what is needed before that can happen.

He said: “We hope you agree that we have done our best to deliver on every single one of those commitments and whilst we would have liked to be at Power Court sooner the fact remains it is now a reality that we have a path ahead!

“We know everyone wants to know when they can bring their spades and hard hats to start getting on with the job. Well there are two sides to that.

“Firstly the planning process means we need to await the decision from the Secretary of State as to whether it is felt that the application should be ‘called in’.

“This means scrutiny to see and ensure that the decision that has been taken is consistent with local and national planning guidelines.

“With Power Court we heard within a week or so that it was not going to be ‘called in’ and as Sian Timoney (deputy leader of Luton Council) has stated in the media we hope we hear about this – more complex – proposal as quickly as possible.

“However the Secretary of State has a time period within which to act so we must wait patiently whilst matters take their due course.

“Once we overcome that hurdle secondly then any objector can apply for a ‘Judicial Review’

“This focuses on the ensuring correct processes were followed throughout each stage from when the applications were lodged.

“Again there are timescales for any application to be made and indeed there may not be any application for Review at all so we must await the expiry of that timeframe before we know for sure that there is to be no review and work can start.

“Even then as Gary (Sweet, Hatters chief executive) has stated there is work to be done on clearing and preparing the ground.

“So a politician’s answer regarding a start date! Yes we again ask for patience.

“You have been superb in showing belief and patience firstly in the club turnaround that lasted six-eight years and then in the planning process which has been another two-four years.

“But now we are in the end game so what you know for sure is that it will be as soon as practicably possible and wheels have been in motion for some time.

“We will keep you updated and unlike Brexit we have a plan so please stick with us enjoy the Kenny whilst it lasts the time will just fly by and before you know it we will be in our new home.”