Hatters fans have been urged to pledge their support for the club’s new stadium at Power Court, plus the Newlands Park scheme when the planning application is expected go to public consultation this Friday.
Supporters associations, including Loyal Luton, Luton Town Supporters Trust, LTDSA, Bobbers Travel Club, Hatters Talk and Luton Outlaws handed out leaflets at the EFL Cup game against Leeds United last night, urging fans to make their voices heard by emailing or writing to the council once the validation has been completed.
A four week process will then begin where everyone can get in touch with Luton Borough Council via email or letter to make their feelings known and speaking to the press last night, Town’s chief executive Gary Sweet said: “The documentation is there for all to see and it’s then up to the public to make their voices known.
“At the end of the day, the council represents you, represents the population and it’s not necessarily up to the population whether you want this or not, but you have a big say.
“The population of Luton have a big say and that’s the message the supporters are effectively asking us to deliver.
“They’ve delivered it tonight. They’ve printed their own leaflets and, in their stadium, we’ve allowed them to distribute that.
“The population of Luton have a big say and that’s the message the supporters are effectively asking us to deliver.”Gary Sweet
“This is whether you are positive or negative towards it, I’m one that always believes in having my say, politically wherever I’ve lived or wherever I’ve worked, I’ve always taken a vote.
“In this particular case, the supporters view and the supporters club after consulting with them, they feel that actually this is fundamental that every single supporter and every single member of their family and every single person that lives in their house, their neighbours, their family, their friends, people down the pub, their dogs, their cats, actually effectively make a comment on both applications, Newlands Park and Power Court, because they’re intrinsic.
“From our point of view, clearly I think most of our supporters are thinking more positively about it because of what it will give for the football club but they also see the other side of it too.
“There’s a lot of residents in Luton who are football supporters too. We’ve had a lot of people come in to us who might be Man United or Arsenal supporters that still love the idea of not just the football stadium, but what these developments might do for the town.
“So it should be broadly irrelevant if you’re a football supporter or not, if you support these developments, then say so, if you don’t, then don’t, please say so.
“It’s important that people have their say, we want to give people of Luton and the surrounding areas what they want Luton to become.
“What I can’t start doing is offering 50 per cent discount on tickets for people to say they’re supporting it, of course we’re not going to do that, we’re actually a very fair organisation.
“We want those applications to be looked at by the council in a very impartial light, from our perspective and from theirs.
“Supporters and the general public of Luton and Bedfordshire and the region, wherever you live actually, it’s then up to them to review the documentation and have their say, whether that’s positive or negative.“
On what happens once the consultation period is over, Sweet continued: “The consultation process is four weeks from validation and once the public consultation has gone through, then the council will take a long time to review it.
“Because they’re going through 10,000 pages of documentation that they’ve got to read through, so this is a thick application, two applications that are intrinsically linked.
“It’s not just reading, it’s actually doing the proper assessments of each individual part and component of those applications. It will take a long time, so that’ll be towards the end of the year.
“The kick-off to that is the consultation process that the council will take from the public is probably the most important element of the application.
“We all know the applications have been received by the council now and one million pounds has gone into the investment of putting those together over a good, hard last year, but has really been four years in the planning.
“The process that the council take is that the planning department effectively check all the documentation, make sure everything is there, make sure that everything is equipped to be able to look at that, judge it and give us a consent or otherwise on that.
“Obviously, subject to them looking at all the documentation, they’re keen to support it and our deep hope is that we get a consent on those two applications.”
For more information about the public consulation process, visit www.2020developments.co.uk/applications to ensure the validation has gone through and then either email your support to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Development Control, Luton Borough Council, George Street, Luton, LU1 2BQ.
You must quote both planning reference numbers - Power Court: 16/01400 and Newlands Park: 16/01401 and for full details on what else is needed, head to the 2020 website, while if you have further queries, email: email@example.com