Captial & Regional Claims

Capital & Regional have made a number of claims about the development proposals during the process, which #saveourtown believe to be inaccurate and misleading to the residents of Luton.

Here we provide a response, to put right, some of the claims that Capital & Regional have made.

Claim 1

In an interview on 3CR on 01.06.2017 Ken Ford of Capital and Regional said:

“As a town centre use a football stadium is not necessarily appropriate. The reality is these are big buildings that are fundamentally used perhaps for four, five, six hours a week as opposed to all of the other hours of the week where they’ll essentially lie fallow.”

A club spokesman said: “Power Court Stadium will be in use 365 days per year and will have perhaps 2,000 people living there when fully built out. Add to that over 100,000 square feet of retail, bars and restaurants, a large volume of community space, a hotel, a supermarket and a 1,800 capacity music venue and it will actually be the very opposite of what was described! It’s design not only creates a stage for St Mary’s Church to be rightly appreciated but anyone will be able to view the interior and the pitch from the podium level, without paying – like a true public open space.

In addition, all spatial accommodation will be utilised fully and in many cases, used for multi-purpose, like executive boxes that will double up as start-up office space, hospitality areas and the media suite that will be used for education and hotel bedrooms that overlook the pitch will be used for matchday hospitality.

Also many of the numerous restaurants will have visibility and access over the stands and the pitch allowing everyday diners to take in the vista which will be mood-illuminated by the LED floodlight halo – our hat!

The main kitchen and directors area will be turned into an everyday brasserie overlooking the pitch one side and our church the other. Changing rooms for player can be used as changing rooms for the club’s retail operation, concourse areas used for exhibition space, stands could be open for open-air movie nights and even the pitch could be open for the Luton Carnival. Every square foot will be an efficient and valuable social space – not just for Saturday afternoons!”

Claim 2

In an interview on 3CR on 01.06.2017 Ken Ford of Capital and Regional said:

“Football stadiums don’t actually contribute too much to the economic vitality of the town centre.”

A club spokesman said: “Currently, at Kenilworth Road, Luton Town employs over 400 staff during the season. At Power Court, that number would approximately double. Furthermore, the addition of all of the other facilities at Power Court such as the music venue, hotel, restaurants, bars, supermarket, nursery, gym, healthcare and education will add over 1,000 direct equivalent full time jobs to the Luton economy which doesn’t include the nearly 10,000 equivalent permanent jobs that Newlands Park will deliver for the Luton economy.”

Claim 3

In an interview on 3CR on 01.06.2017 despite claiming credentials for working hand in hand with local communities when reminded that an unprecedented 10,972 local community members had contacted Luton Borough Council in support of the planning application Ken Ford of Capital and Regional dismissed that expression of community opinion by saying:

“Clearly it looks like we’re at odds with that portion of the community, less than around 10,000 out of a catchment of well over 200,000.”

A club spokesman said: “The response to our consultation – at over 11,000 letters of support in favour versus just 33 against – was unprecedented for any application in UK planning history (let alone in Luton) and not just for a football stadium.

By contrast, London Luton Airport’s (where 10,000 jobs are reliant upon) last big application to almost double its growth only received 1,350 letters of support versus 350 letters of objection. In football, Tottenham’s last planning application for their 61,000 seater stadium currently under construction received less than 200 letters of support whilst Arsenal’s move to the Emirates attracted 60% of all responses objecting to their scheme which still got approval.

The nearest recent example is AFC Wimbledon’s move back to their ancestral home which was an incredibly emotive campaign saw an impressive 5,100 supportive letters versus 900 objections. The people of Luton have embraced our proposals and with a weight of favour at 99.997% this simply cannot be ignored by politicians locally or nationally.”

Claim 4

While continuing to object to the Newlands Park proposals Capital and Regional have consistently claimed that they’ve offered “help to support 2020’s Power Court application.”

However, in a letter to the Luton News on October 17 2018, Luton Town chief executive Gary Sweet, wrote: ‘Firstly, we do not need any further assistance in funding our stadium. We’re more than happy with our position on this as it stands. And if we did need any specialist advice we would take it from a specialist adviser who would be more equipped in advising in that specific area and not from a national corporate organisation that continues to object to our developments, who clearly doesn’t understand our business model or our community commitment.

‘Perhaps if they weren’t so determined to stymie development in our town we would be somewhat more enthusiastic. If, however, C&R are referring to helping us financially, directly, to support the building of our stadium then that is very disappointing.

‘The council’s CEO chaired a meeting between us back in April which all parties agreed would remain confidential.

‘On a number of times since that meeting C&R have referred to issues discussed in that meeting, in this case suggest that they have made us offer to help, allowing the public to believe we are rejecting their support, which is not just disappointing but very unprofessional.

‘Continuing to make such claims forces me to clarify the position in this regard. In the meeting C&R felt we could fund the stadium from different sources – rather than a scheme consisting of offices, retail, leisure and a hotel – but every source of funding they suggested ultimately came from the public purse, essential additional taxation on Luton businesses or the general public which we didn’t feel at all comfortable with.

‘One of the things we’re so proud of is that fact that our plans will attract 10,000 quality jobs for the town and will bring in over £250million every year to our local economy without the necessity for us to ask the public to contribute to building it.

‘I can categorically confirm that C&R have never, during or after the numerous meetings we’ve had with them over a long period, made any kind of offer to us, in cash, in kind or from the private sector to help fund our football stadium.’

Would you like to help with the campaign?

We have set up a JustGiving crowdfunding page to help generate funds for our campaign. If you are able, we'd be eternally grateful for your donation, no matter how big or small.

Why back the proposals?

The development proposals for Power Court and Newlands Park offer Luton a bright new future.
They will:

  • Create 10,000 new jobs and opportunities within Luton
  • Boost the local economy by more than £250million each and every year
  • Revitalise and regenerate a town centre that has seen more than a decade of stagnation
  • Help put a sense of pride back into the town and its people
  • Open up land at Kenilworth Road for much-needed community use in the Bury Park area
  • Be the catalyst for further development and regeneration
  • It won't be the end of the story because it will help create a new legacy for Luton

Power Court, in the centre of Luton, will be transformed from a derelict and contaminated eyesore, to a pleasant and attractive environment, delivering new and exciting facilities to enhance people's lives every day and evening of the year.

It will include:

  • A 21st century, 17,500-seater football stadium for Luton Town Football Club
  • An 1,800-capacity live music venue (the biggest in Beds, Herts and Bucks)
  • New and enhanced public piazza meeting space with the River Lea (currently hidden underground) brought to the fore, providing an embankment from which the public can enjoy a view over Luton's only Grade 1 listed building - St Mary's Church
  • Bars and restaurants
  • A small niche cinema
  • A medium sized hotel and banqueting venue
  • Creche / play area
  • Lifestyle retail units
  • Supermarket
  • 100 car parking spaces
  • Beneficial public transport links in close proximity

Learn more about this proposed development at: http://2020developments.co.uk/powercourt/index.php

Newlands Park is a 40-acre site at junction 10 of the M1 motorway. It will enhance perceptions of Luton, bring in new business, complement the town centre and will provide:

  • An impressive and iconic new gateway to Luton to be proud of
  • An eye-catching environmentally friendly 'green roof' with walking spaces where people can gather and use the facilities on offer, such as rooftop cafes
  • Approximately 500,000 sq ft of high-spec offices, forming a landmark design
  • An innovative leisure hub, housed in an iconic 'crystal' design with a high-end cinema and a wide range of active leisure attractions
  • Aspirational, high-end retail to complement the existing town centre retail in Luton

Learn more about this proposed development at: http://2020developments.co.uk/newlandspark/index.php

However, if these proposals for Power Court and Newlands Park do not go ahead, Luton will be left with:

  • Un-utilised land by the M1, as the gateway to the town
  • An eyesore at Power Court in the centre of the town, which enhances perceptions of Luton as a town in decline
  • A crumbling Kenilworth Road football stadium on a site in one of the most deprived wards in the country, which could be used for desperately needed housing and other community uses
  • A dying night-time economy in the fourth largest town in England, where the town centre is effectively empty by 6pm every evening when The Mall shopping centre shuts its doors
  • A missed opportunity to boost the economy of the local area and create huge numbers of new jobs, that would provide the people of Luton and their children with a bright new future

Would you like to help with the campaign?

We have set up a JustGiving crowdfunding page to help generate funds for our campaign. If you are able, we'd be eternally grateful for your donation, no matter how big or small.

Here's what you've told us

While we believe Luton will be transformed by Power Court and Newlands Park, don’t just take our word for it.

People are having their say as part of our Change.org petition urging Capital & Regional, owners of The Mall shopping centre, to stop blocking a bright new future for Luton. Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/capital-regional-stop-blocking-a-bright-new-future-for-luton

This is a chance to add to the original UK planning record of 11,000 people who wrote to Luton Borough Council in 2016, supporting the plans for Power Court and Newlands Park. The key difference now is the opportunity to tell the major objector why they need to change their stance and listen to what the people of the town want and need.

Also, all your responses (be polite) will be sent direct to the email inboxes of the Capital and Regional Chief Executive and Chairman.

Responses such as these...

 

Terry Coan

Best thing to happen in the history of the town

Helen Gatward

It is not just about the football stadium, it’s about what the town needs. And the town needs this!

Dave T

Future generations will not look kindly upon us if we allow big business to put their greed above this once in a lifetime opportunity to revitalise and regenerate our town.

Anthony Mallon

These projects are vitaly important for the future of Luton!

Thomas Maher

I believe both project will deliver a better future for Luton, culturally and financially

Susan Jones

We need to transform our town. The football family need a new stadium, it needs to be in our town, OUR Luton Town!

JACQUI PEACOCK

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the whole town and surrounding areas. Our children and grandchildren deserve the regeneration of Luton not more stagnation.

sheila fitzgerald

I believe in this town and it’s people

Ann Clarke

I love Luton amd wamt it to thrive. I want mpre opportunities for young and old.

Dee Lovelock

This is a massive opportunity for Luton

Michael Pratt

This great town and its community deserve these massive projects that are planned……who in their right minds would feel it necessary to stand against such a desperately needed investment in the town of Luton…..

Ray Coot

Let’s make Luton the town it should be & give the football club the stadium it & its supporters deserve .

Martin Roberts

This development must take place to transform Luton Town Centre for the 21st Century and restore it as a place Lutonians can return to and be proud of!

Paul Haynes

Luton as a town deserves investment and as a Lutonian I want to be proud of my home town once more.

Sue Armstrong

I love my town and want to see it prosper

IAN MATTHEWS

Our Town deserves these fantastic developments. It is just not the Football club and supporters that will benefit. Just for starters a decent music venue would be great as there are no real local venues for larger bands/groups to play.

Vincent Mitchell

I want this great town to have a future and a new football stadium to be proud of.

Roger Pile

I want a brighter, better town to benefit my children and grandchildren. These developments will make everyone proud of our town again.

Angela Phelan

This will be the most important development in the towns history and nobody should be allowed to stand in the way of this incredible opoutunity which will benefit every Lutonian.

Simon Marshall

Luton needs this badly not just for the club but for the TOWN!!!!

Chris Gathern

This will just not benefit the football club, but the whole of the town.

David Whittington

This is the brightest future Luton has had in many generations

Rosette Davies

This is a great opportunity to regenerate our town and to leave a lasting legacy to future generations

Owen Clarke

This is a huge opportunity for not just the football club but the whole town, why should a company from London be able to control the town’s destiny

Stuart Eaglesham

Our town needs to move forward with these developments, not just for the football club but for the town as a whole as we are being left behind the other large towns and cities locally, we cannot let them monopolize our town, We need this. THIS IS OUR TOWN!!!!!!!

John Harley

Luton both need and deserve a better future which the Power Court and Newlands developments offer !!!

Darren Howard

Luton needs to progress for our future generations.

andrew kimberley

Both developments are a once in a lifetime opportunity for Luton and c&r do not own the town.

Jean Large

The whole town not just the football club need this development for future generations to enjoy

Cathy Hutchison

This is essential for the future of our town and our football club – no one should stand in the way of what is so obviously a hugely beneficial development to Luton.

Stephen Hayhurst

I. want my grandchildren to grow up to be proud of their town

Nina Coodien

I sincerely believe it will move this town forward , bring opportunities to our community , our present and our future #saveourtown #please #thankyou

Mick Henman

I love my town, and it needs the kiss of life, dont see why non Luton people should dictate to me and affect my children /grandchildrens future

Rob Jones

It matters to the folk of Luton, do the right thing and support the proposals for regeneration. PC and NP are the future and the Mall can benefit from this.

 

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#saveourtown

1 month ago

Save Our Town

As we start to head towards a slow return to some semblance of normality and with a lot of our followers naturally being affected in all sorts of ways by the loss of sporting fixtures, we thought we would have a catch up with Luton Town Football Club's official photographer, Gareth Owen. Like so many of us, forced into lockdown, we thought this a good time to learn some more about the man, the legend. With yesterday's exciting announcement that the Championship is set to restart on 20 June, albeit behind closed doors, it won't be long before we are enjoying his artwork again.

So Gareth, as Luton Town Football Club's official photographer, have you been forced to hang up your camera due to your usual subjects, until very recently, not being available and, if so, how have you been coping with that?

"Hello all. Thought I would just tell you what I actually do as most people think I just do football! I have been in photography all my working life, self-employed for the last 30 years. My work during the weekdays is corporate PR for companies then Saturdays are, of course, dominated by LTFC."

"I did my last commercial job on 17 March, two days later everything was cancelled in the diary. With the weather being superb, I go for a run every morning and then we have been redesigning the garden, which has been hours of work."

A lot of our followers will have missed things from their pre-Corona everyday lives, what have you missed the most?

"Obviously the football which I have followed from a young age, not being able to pop into any shop to get stuff, seeing the grandchildren (of which there are many) and meeting my son Paul for a beer."

If you could be joining the team to capture an away match, where is your other favourite ground and why?

"I travel to every away match and have been to almost every ground in the country. I don’t really like any of the new stadiums, they are all basically the same wherever you go."

"I tend to remember the food before the match, our favourite was the home made giant shepherd’s pie for £5 at Kidderminster"

"However, looking forwards and from what we have seen of Power Court, that will be so different. When Save Our Town started I remember thinking how organised it all was, a group not just ’talking’ but ‘doing’ and within a short space of time there were hundreds of people getting involved to ensure Power Court and Newlands Park happened. My dad used to talk of a new stadium many, many years ago and when I got involved with the football club, numerous mad plans were thrown at us. Now the plans are approved, it is going to happen - when the world calms down!"

Speaking of favourites, please could you share with us your top three LTFC moments that you were there to capture and why?

"There are many celebrations and 'moments' over the years but I have three black and white images that have a place in history." (Please see the pictures below.)

"They are, of course, Mick Harford scoring against Manchester United (21/4/85), Ricky Hill scoring against Everton at Villa Park (13/4/85) and John Faulkner scoring against Fulham with George Best and Rodney Marsh for the opposition (15/10/77). All classics."

Whilst out in your garden you have turned your lens to capturing whatever nature decided to turn up in your garden, can you share your favourite lockdown photos with us too please and why?

"There is always a camera with me when I am in the garden. My favourites? I captured a red kite, which hover above every day, a butterfly in flight, that one was a challenge, wild garlic on my run and a young blackbird being fed and lastly my home made cottage pie, I also love cooking."(please see pictures below)

We have heard many lovely stories of kindness in our community during this time, what will be your lasting memory of these pandemic days?

"Strangers talking to each other in the street, that makes a nice change!"

Now it is in the public domain that Nathan Jones has returned to manage the club, were you able to capture that first morning's training on Thursday 28 May 2020?

"I was called to the training ground on Thursday to do some ’training pics’. Nathan was there. I think this is a good move for us all. I have been very privileged to be in unique situations in our Club's history."
(Please see announcement/training day picture below)

Our penultimate question, who did you never get to photograph and always wish you had?

"The one person I would have liked to have photographed properly is my hero, Paul McCartney. I have got him at a couple of gigs but many years ago, my first wife and I were in London and while she was getting a ‘posh’ hair cut, I drove up to Macca’s house in St John’s Wood. Just as I arrived, Paul turned up on his Honda 50 with Linda, signed some things and gave me some photographs, which was great but I DIDN’T HAVE A CAMERA!"

And finally, which players are the biggest posers?!

"Posing players in the current team - obviously Pelly! Harry Cornick, Marek and Glenda love a pic, although Glenda won’t admit it!"

"Thank you for having me.
COYH."

All pictures ©garethowen2020
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1 month ago

Save Our Town

We continue to look at the way local people have been responding to the changes enforced upon them and the good things that have come out of our community as a result of the global pandemic. This week, we turn to local artist ENNÈ Artist to look at how, with all performance venues closed not only in Luton but across the land, she has been turning her creative hands to alternative genres in addition to her music. We also ask her about a project that she is taking forwards, initiated by lockdown and a cancelled gig at Hat Factory Arts Centre, to put back into the community and share her talents with children who may not have the opportunity to have music lessons. A pay it forwards scheme, putting something back into music and as a thank you for kindness she has been shown by others, which is so very her.
A regular at The Hat Factory, The Bear Club and George 2nd luton, we are missing our cultural outlets and they are missing us, their live audience. Ennè explains in this video how her hand has been forced to change direction. You can find more about the projects she talks about, including her exciting art exhibition, music and new clothing line at:
www.zealous.co/nakishadownesesnard/portfolio/; www.youtube.com/enneartist;
and enneartist.kincustom.com/
There is no-one that can tell this tale better of her time in lockdown than the lady herself, so we give you Ennè, our proud Lutonian songstress. She might even give us a song.
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2 months ago

Save Our Town

Here at #saveourtown we want to continue to bring you stories of how people in our community are going over and above in this difficult era we are living in. We have heard, and had personal experience of, how the owner and the staff of LLFI Grocers and Old Skool Pantry have been pulling out all the stops to serve our community, as well as making adjustments to the way they run the businesses, to make them both viable and reactive to the needs and desires of their customers.

Supporters of ours from the very beginning, we wanted to highlight that they have been incredibly thoughtful, sourcing ingredients that many of us could not get our clean hands on and their delivery service of essential groceries has proved invaluable to many.

With a big thank you to Daniela, who patiently deals with the orders and assists Alessandro, her brother and the owner, in the daily running of the businesses and also to Robert Kelly, the co-owner of the grocers. A huge thanks too to all your friendly, helpful staff from all your customers and from all of us at #saveourtown. We thank you for putting flour back in our cupboards and for doing the most amazing Sunday roasts delivered to our doors, with ingenious grocery boxes to choose from and with a varied menu that now includes gelato. We know you have been ensuring our key workers have been looked after too, a true credit to the community

We thought it only right to ask how it has been for them during this pandemic period, so over to the man himself. You are a fine example of why we are so proud of this town.
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Why are we raising money?

#saveourtown is a volunteer-led campaign group and, while we have a popular and ever-growing social media presence, we are aiming to reach all members of our community and not everyone is on social media, or online. To produce physical campaign materials and spread the message through community events, this costs money.

So, your generous donations, no matter how big or small, have and will be used to fund the creation and maintenance of promotion activity, purchase materials and prepare advertising campaigns to help spread the word about #saveourtown, and the proposals we support.

For example, your donations have helped pay for this website and for things like banners, that have been paraded on the pitch at Kenilworth Road, plus 80,000 posters and leaflets that were sent to Luton homes, so residents could learn about the once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform their town.

This also provided people with a chance to show their support by putting the posters in their windows to further spread the word. Didn’t get one? Don’t worry you can download the poster here for FREE.

Your donations have made that possible and so much more. Every penny raised will be accounted for and our accounts will be professionally verified annually. And when we all get the victory of progress for Luton, as a community campaign, any funds left when our work is complete will be donated to a Luton charity.

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