Here is the outcome of further research on Power Court Stadium development. If you follow the link you will see the Power Court Stadium Planning application https://planning.luton.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=neighbourComments&keyVal=OBAFUOKG00600. This application was submitted during August 2016. On studying the application, you will see there was only 1 public comment supporting it. This comment was from the Luton Town Supporters Trust here at https://www.lutontownsupporterstrust.com. (This information is accurate as of 3:45pm on Wednesday 5th September 2018).
However, on Monday 3rd September 2018 I received the following from an unnamed Council spokesperson (dated 28th September 2018), from commenter called Chris Lines.
“Please note that due to the significant number of public representations received in connection with the applications 16/01400/OUTEIA and 16/01401/OUTEIA submitted by 2020 Developments, the normal details/information will not be published at this time. Once all the relevant details have been recorded, the information will be made available on the Council’s website. Following the deadline for making representations the Local Planning Authority has received just under 11,000 comments made in respect of one or both sites. Work has begun on recording the details of those who made comments, but given the number received, this will take some time to complete. Part of the recording process will be to identify whether there has been any duplicate and/or anonymous comment and to amalgamate those comments received from one household.” (the planning application’s agreed expiry date is 31 July 2018)
This quote together with the evidence I have cited in the first paragraph of this blog post disproves the following claim; “11000+ people support plans for a stadium and other developments at Power Court, and developments at Newlands Park”.
Save our Town appear to be misleading the public, by seeking crowdfunding from the public by providing it with inaccurate information. Because the quote provided by Chris reveals that less than 11 000 people commented on the planning applications, and after the Council has eliminated, duplicate and anonymous comments and amalgamated those comments received from one household, the number of comments yet to be uploaded to the Council’s planning website (This information is accurate as of 5:00pm on Wednesday 5th September 2018) could be considerably fewer than 11000+ comments Save our Town claim.
There has been a planning application and consultation on proposals for developments at Newlands Park here at https://planning.luton.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OBAFWKKG00600 . The application was also made during August 2016 as you can see there have been no public comments and the application has yet to be decided by the Council’s Development Control Committee.(This information is accurate as of 4:00pm on Wednesday 5th September 2018.) So, any comments already made that in part support Newlands Park can carry no weight whatsoever in any future planning application decision-taking concerning Newlands Park.
2020 Developments Luton Limited own land at Power Court, purchased from Power Court GP Limited during December 2016 (purchase price unavailable) Land at Power Court RegisterBD209585 and Newlands Road purchased during November 2015 for £10m Land at Newlands Road RegisterBD214216. Therefore, by not approving the Newlands Park planning application Luton Borough Council have effectively stalled the development of a football stadium at Power Court by at least 2years.
But why has Luton Borough Council so far not approved plans for Newlands Park? Perhaps 2020 Developments have been unable to convince the Council there is a development Management company out there that has the resources to pay 2020 Developments the £10m+ asking price for land at Newlands Road, attract developers who are willing to implement Newlands Park plans, and take on the unviable planning obligations imposed on the development. All within the context of post Brexit business environment and reduced consumer enthusiasm for shopping offline. Or is it because even with £10m+ in their back pocket 2020 Developments will not have enough resources to implement its plans for Power Court and pay the costs associated with running an ambitious Football club? Or does this lack of progress mean 2020 Developments are content with the Council’s decision not to approve plans for Newlands Park and are happy to continue on at Kenilworth Road for the foreseeable future?
Finally, are 2020 Developments seeking a cheaper alternative location in Central Bedfordshire? Recently a development management company approached Harlington Parish Council to get their support for a stadium at M1 J12 Toddington. Local Authorities are becoming increasingly competitive in trying to attract development into their jurisdictions because of cuts in their budgets imposed by National Government and increasing demand for the services they provide.
According to their Annual Report and Accounts (March 2016), Power Court GP Limited Accounts Year Ending March 2016 Power Court GP Limited’s parent company is BL Intermediate Holding Company Limited and according to this company’s Annual Report and Accounts (March 2016), BL Intermediate Holdings Company Limited Accounts Year Ending March 2016 their parent company is British Land PLC a FTSE100 company. I am certain that if British Land thought their property interests were under threat they would hire barristers to represent their interests at a Local Plan’s public examination as Capital & Regional did. Save our Town’s dislike of Capital and Regional seems hypocritical when considering profit arising from the sale of Power Court to 2020 Developments will ultimately find its way to British Land PLC who the trusting millennials who support Save our Town may mistakingly think are a big bad multinational property-owning company, like they think Capital & Regional are.