Sweet: Don't let Jones' exit overshadow Power Court news
Luton chief executive Gary Sweet has urged supporters not to let the news of Nathan Jones leaving to take over at Stoke City overshadow the announcement that Power Court was recommended for approval this week.
The Hatters’ outline application for a new stadium will go before the Luton Borough Council Development Control Committee at the Town Hall on Wednesday with members being advised by planners to back the scheme.
This came just 24 hours before Jones opted to leave Kenilworth Road for the Potters after three years in charge, but Sweet didn’t think that should take anything away from what was a momentous occasion for the club.
He said: “This has been a fantastic week, we’ve had a dent, but this has been a fantastic week for that reason.
“We’ve got to think of it like that, as the news of Nathan going is just completely overshadowed by the fantastic news that Power Court has been recommended for approval, so we’re absolutely elated at that news.
“We always talk about football being a rollercoaster ride. So can you imagine, as I’m recovering in my bed with my laptop and I’m starting to read the committee report from the planning officer about Power Court being recommended and then I get a call from Stoke City, that’s a rollercoaster!
“I wouldn’t have it any other way, but that’s the greatest news of this week, this month, this year, this decade, so that’s got to be our real focus.”
Town are now waiting to see if their application for a mixed scheme at Newlands Park for retail, office and leisure, which is essential to finance a new ground at Power Court, will also be approved, with that going to the council on January 30.
Sweet added: “In terms specifically of planning, I’ve said it before, we’re 1-0 up at half time, we’re kind of half pregnant, there’s so many adages you could say.
“It doesn’t mean it’s done, but it’s a great start.
"I’d rather be 1-0 up at half time than actually not started a game, so it’s a fantastic start.
"Reading the report just shows to me that the planning officers are looking at the cases in the right way, with the right intention, which is the intention of which the design and the applications are written.
"Because of our love for the town, we want to put our heart and souls into the applications, as we have, just the same way we have put our heart and souls into football matters here and I think that comes through in that process.
“The passion we’ve got for delivering those two schemes is here for ever, and I think that’s going to be something that will be a permanent character in the town.
“This is how important that is. We’re here talking about what is a permanent characteristic of Luton the town, that's the big news, not a temporary characteristic of a football team, so this is the big news, we’re over the moon.
“We’ve got two massive events going on this month about planning applications.
"That’s the biggest news that Luton have had for decades, not just for a year, three years, a month, this is for decades, so there’s a huge amount of optimism around that.”