Luton Town and 2020 Developments have declared they are 'delighted' by the news that plans to build a mixed-use development were given a positive recommendation by Luton Borough Council's planning officer yesterday.
The Hatters’ outline application for the site near J10 of the M1 will go before the Development Control Committee at the Town Hall on Monday, March 11, with members being advised by planners to back the scheme, subject to a number of conditions.
Although understandably thrilled by the outcome, the Hatters' board, who saw a new stadium at Power Court given the green light in January too, knows there is still plenty to do before they can begin fully celebrating.
A club statement said: "Luton Town Football Club and 2020 Developments are delighted by Thursday’s news that Luton Council’s planning officer’s report has given a positive recommendation for consent for our plans to build a mixed-use development at Newlands Park.
"This is great news, of course, but it must be stressed that it is only encouraging at this stage as we prepare for the second leg of the council planning committee meeting double header on Monday 11th March.
"At that point, the planning committee will hear comments from both sides before reaching a local resolution on the application for the development that will serve as a gateway to the town, improving the perception and standing of Luton across the country and internationally.
"Newlands Park is crucial commercially for our new stadium in the town centre – for which we were historically granted approval in January – to be built at Power Court.
"The two sets of plans were submitted in August 2016 but our enthusiasm and commitment for both schemes has never wavered and we are clear in the opinion that Newlands Park can make a tremendous positive contribution to the town’s vitality and local economy, both in real terms with thousands of new jobs created and also in the way it generates many millions of pounds each year for the borough.
"We are, of course, delighted to have got this far and thank everyone for their support and patience.
"This will continue to be needed as there is a lot of work still to do even if the committee approve plans, as we will still have to wait some time before we discover whether the Secretary of State will call the Newlands Park project in for judicial review.
"But for now, as we look forward to some exciting fixtures both on and off the pitch, let’s reflect on how much positive hope about our future we can have as Hatters!"