Beds, Herts & Bucks

Power Court: Luton Town football stadium gains planning permission

The plan for the new stadium Image copyright 2020developments.
Image caption The new 23,000-seat stadium will be built on the site of a former power station in the centre of Luton

A football stadium that will "add vitality and vibrancy" to a town has been backed by councillors.

Planning permission for Luton Town's new home at Power Court was granted at a Luton Borough Council meeting.

As well as the 23,000-seat stadium, the development will have bars, restaurants, a hotel and housing.

Gary Sweet, chief executive of the League One club, said he was keen to make Power Court "something the town can be proud of".

'The way forward'

Luton Town has been playing at the Kenilworth Road site for more than 100 years but the club's planning advisor said it was "no longer fit for purpose".

The meeting heard the new development would make the area "a significantly more pleasant place".

Chairman, Cllr David Taylor, said: "Even if you are not a football fan in this town, you will be able to see what this site can give us in terms of housing and entertainment."

Image copyright 2020developments.
Image caption Luton Town's chief executive, Gary Sweet, said the stadium would "elevate footballing ambitions to another level"

Mr Sweet also said that keeping the stadium in the centre of town was "the way forward", claiming the site would be "a beautiful place to visit" and "will change visitors' view of Luton".

He told councillors it would "elevate footballing ambitions to another level", adding: "If Leicester City can win the Premier League in a new environment, so can we."

Representatives from local businesses and organisations said they looked forward to having Luton Town "as neighbours" but were keen to be part of the planning process.

The club first lodged plans for the new stadium in August 2016.

It is expected to be paid for by a separate development at Newlands Park, near junction 10 of the M1.

A proposal for that site is due to go before the council on 30 January, but opponents have said it could have a negative effect on town centre businesses.

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