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Luton stadium plans given green light

English League One football club Luton Town has been granted planning permission to build a new stadium on the Power Court site.

The club said the decision taken by Luton Borough Council’s Planning Control Committee ends “almost 70 years of waiting”. The club has played at the 10,300-seat Kenilworth Road stadium since 1905 and said it has been trying to relocate since the 1950s.

The club has plans to build a new 17,500-seat stadium, which would have the potential to expand to 23,000. The council last week recommended the project for approval and yesterday (Wednesday) the club confirmed that planning permission has been granted.

In December 2016, the club’s 2020 Developments (Luton) property arm agreed a deal with British Land PLC to acquire its freehold interests in Power Court, the site of a former power station in the centre of the Bedfordshire town.

Since then, the council has analysed the applications and Luton said the council should be applauded for “leaving no stone unturned” during the process.

It is hoped the new stadium will allow Luton, which currently sits second in League One, to compete at a higher level.

The stadium site is also set to feature new public spaces and facilities, including a 1,800-capacity live events venue, bars, restaurants, a hotel and 550 apartments.

Luton chief executive Gary Sweet said: “It would instantly elevate our footballing ambition to another level. If Leicester City in a new surrounding can win the Premier League, then so can we. It will increase our support base and make sure Luton Town are permanently financially viable going forward.”

The BBC notes that the stadium is expected to be paid for by a separate development at the Newlands Park site. A meeting to determine the outcome of this development will be held on January 30 and Luton said it is hopeful of a similarly positive outcome.

Image: 2020 Developments