Supporters groups urge Luton to 'make a statement' to Capital & Regional

How a new stadium at Power Court would look
How a new stadium at Power Court would look

Luton Town Supporters’ Trust and Loyal Luton Supporters Club have urged the town to 'make a statement' to Mall owners Capital & Regional this weekend.

The Hatters will go on an open bus tour on Sunday after winning promotion to League One recently, arriving in St George's Square, where they will join the Mayor of Luton, Cllr Mohammad Ayub, on stage, before attending a civic reception in the Town Hall.

This comes just days after Luton Borough Council announced they will look at the club's plans to build a new stadium at Power Court and a mixed use scheme at Newlands Park in the week commencing August 20, with Capital & Regional already voicing their objections to the latter.

Now with such a high profile event taking place this weekend, both supporters clubs believe it is the perfect time for the town to come together and demonstrate just how much support there is for the developments to get the green light.

A statement on the duo’s website said: “Earlier this week Luton Borough Council announced they would be holding a special meeting w/c 20th August 2018 to determine the Power Court and Newlands Park planning applications.

“Whilst it is good news that the process is now coming to a conclusion, it is disappointing that we have to wait another four months.

“However it must be remembered that the reason for this is down to Capital and Regional, the owners of the Mall, who are objecting – against the wishes of the people of Luton – to these wonderful proposals.

“Proposals and investment which not only will enable the football club to have a new stadium to secure its long term future, but also provide much needed regeneration to the town centre itself – plus a mixed use facility at Newlands Park comprising employment, hotel facilities, leisure and retail in an environment that would be the envy of most of the country, and a fantastic advert as the gateway to our town.

“On Sunday Luton Borough Council are holding a civic reception and promotion celebration in St. George's Square.

“This gives us not only the perfect opportunity to show Capital and Regional that their shoppers have no need to fear football crowds gathering in the town centre, but also a platform to remind Capital and Regional that the people of Luton want these developments – to Save Our Town from the further deterioration and stagnation we have all witnessed over the last decades, caused by lack of investment within our town centre by the key stakeholders.

“We know Luton Borough Council are working hard on a strategic plan to raise the image of our town.

"We as a town want our pride back. We should not allow a company to protect its own interests before, and as a detriment to, those of our town."

On what they want to happen, the statement added: "You will be aware that Loyal Luton and Luton Town Supporters’ Trust have been working together, monitoring the progress of the planning applications and have drawn your attention to the risk that Capital and Regional in particular pose to its success.

"We have advised you through our press statements where C&R seeks to mislead us the people in order to achieve their aim of controlling retail in Luton.

“We would now ask you all to step up again and again show Capital and Regional that the people of Luton want this regeneration of our town and we will not allow them to stop us.

“Please turn up at St George's Square on Sunday to celebrate our promotion and to make a statement to C&R.

"We will have people on hand to advise – think of Anfield back in 2008, we will be making a visible statement that no doubt the media will pick up on.

“This is our town. This is our time.”