Vision for stadium announced
We can now announce that the preferred location for a new stadium, and home for Luton Town Football Club is Power Court.
This announcement follows on from the publication of our Representations to Luton Borough offering our suggested proposals to the emerging Local Plan.
The site, which has been redundant for well over a decade is ideally situated just a stones-throw from Luton’s excellent rail, bus and road links – including the Luton/Dunstable Guided Busway.
The local plan sets out local planning policies and identifies how land is used, determining what will be built where and adopted local plans provide the framework for development across England.
The process of consultation, which took place between the 26th October and 7th December 2015, gave the public and other stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the plan with regards to the soundness and legal compliance of the proposals and policies in the local plan.
Within that framework, the Club has put forward what it feels to be a convincing case for the local plan to be amended, and that the location of a new football stadium should be at Power Court, rather than at the land south of Stockwood Park adjacent to Junction 10 of the M1 as outlined in the existing draft local plan.
The need for a new home for The Hatters is well documented, and has been a priority for the 2020 group since taking over the Club in 2008. Kenilworth Road has been the Club’s for 110 years, after moving to the location from Dunstable Road in 1905.
Luton Town chief executive Gary Sweet said “When we became custodians of the Club, we had a clear long term vision of where we wanted to the Club to be by the year 2020. As in so many cases, our business was named after the year of its birth.
“Our strategy was all about stability and steady growth. Initially, we needed to stabilise the Club’s financial position, then begin to rebuild the team, supporters’ and the public’s confidence and faith in us – working towards a stable but ambitious Club that was fully integrated into and that proudly represented its community.
“Everyone at the Club has a great deal of affection for Kenilworth Road. However our need to move to a more suitable location with better facilities and a larger capacity is no secret.
“The provision of a new stadium remains a fundamental part of this vision – and our representations to the Council demonstrate our fervent belief that the site at Power Court offers the best possible solution – not just for Luton Town Football Club, but for the continued regeneration of the Town and the benefit of the wider community.
“It’s fair to say that we are a club at the heart of the community, with the community at its heart. Currently, around 9,000 Hatters fans visit Kenilworth road on home match days – 95% of the stadium’s home capacity. Despite our current position in the fourth tier, our supporters continually demonstrate their passion for the Club. In return, we are able to offer a safe environment for all supporters from any walk of life to meet their friends and share in the ups and downs of the game as well as the pride we have in our town.
“Through our Community Trust we deliver many thousands of teaching hours every week to young people throughout Luton, as well as helping to raise tens of thousands of pounds for good causes each year. We work closely with schools and other community groups, and do what we can to help shine a positive light on the Town.
“We strongly believe that by developing a stadium in the centre of Luton, we will be best placed to continue this work and increase the value that we are able to bring to local people.
“As we speak, we have positive discussions with British Land with regards to the site at Power Court as well as with Luton Borough Council in order to adopt proportion owned by the authority. We are grateful for the help we’ve received so far from the Council, and we’re looking forward to working with them, as well as other local organisations such as The University of Bedfordshire, St Mary’s Church and The Mall as the project progresses.
“Our intention is to submit a formal planning application for a new stadium prior to the beginning of the 2016/17 season along with plans for other enabling developments at Power Court and facilitating developments on the land owned by the Club at Junction 10 of the M1.”
Further information about the stadium and the Club's plans will be announced in due course. Watch our short video below, taking you on a trip over Power Court: