Newlands Park plans change again with alternative proposals set to bring in 2,500 jobs for Luton

‘Landmark gateway development’ promised for site

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 1:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2022, 2:18 pm
How the new plans at Newlands Park could look - pic: Wrenbridge Land
How the new plans at Newlands Park could look - pic: Wrenbridge Land

Luton Town’s approved scheme at Newlands Park will no longer be used by new site owners Wrenbridge Land due to concerns over the retail elements and potential impact on the town centre, with their alternative plan expected to bring 2,500 jobs to the area.

A consultation has launched on the new proposals for the 37-acre plot at Junction 10 of the M1, but locals only have until 5pm next Thursday (July 7) to give their views.

The site was initially bought by 2020 Developments, the property arm of the club, to help fund their attempts to build a new stadium at Power Court and was given planning permission in March 2019 for a scheme that featured new offices, retail, leisure facilities, restaurants and bars as well as a 300-bed hotel.

Two years later, the development was changed quite significantly, the revised proposals delivering ‘flexible, market orientated employment floorspace’, with less space for retail and leisure.

Back in December 2021, Luton then revealed they had sold the site to UK Developer Wrenbridge and an investment fund advised by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI), a deal that would help secure the funding for the new stadium.

New proposals have now been unveiled for an entirely different employment focused development at the site with no retail and including extensive office space, that Wrenbridge have labelled a ‘landmark gateway development.’

In a statement issued today, they said: "Plans will deliver state-of-the-art, highly sustainable business units incorporating extensive office space that will act as headquarter buildings delivering a wide range of jobs.

“It is Wrenbridge’s vision to create a landmark gateway into the town, with the scheme’s design celebrating and promoting the context and history of Luton, which can be admired as people travel into the town.

“The design will be accompanied by an installation from a local artist drawing public interest and producing a unique identity for Newlands Park.

“The employment development will help to deliver circa 2,500 jobs on and off-site across the local, regional and national supply chain, with the scheme also looking to become one of the most sustainable logistics developments in the UK.

“Four business units are proposed in total, with significant landscaping across the site to give a natural context to the development and ensure the proposals respect the site’s setting.”

Richard Arnold, from Wrenbridge Land, added: “We are excited to be bringing forward these high-quality proposals that will create over 2,500 new jobs for the town on this key employment site.

"We are committed to delivering a highly sustainable development that exceeds planning policy requirements.

"Our proposed state-of-the-art business units will contribute positively to the growing local demand for industrial, warehouse and logistics space combined with extensive, ancillary offices.”

Wrenbridge have recently launched a public consultation to allow the local community to review and comment on their proposals here.

What do you think of the new proposals? Email [email protected]