Frequently Asked Questions
Most questions about the campaign will be answered through the comprehensive information in various sections throughout this website however here are some of the more common questions we are asked during our community engagement activity
What Is Power Court?
This is the site on which it is proposed that a new 17,500-seat football stadium will be built alongside an 1,800-capacity music venue, bars restaurants, lifestyle retail units, a small niche cinema, a medium-sized hotel and banqueting venue, a creche/play area and potential education and medical facilities, a supermarket and 100 car parking spaces.
It will also see the River Lea revealed as part of an enhanced public space to complement the adjacent grade 1 listed St Mary’s Church. It is called Power Court because this is the name of the road that leads into the site.
What is Newlands Park?
This is the site at junction 10 of the M1 motorway on which it is proposed there will be an iconic gateway to Luton, visible to the tens of thousands of vehicles that pass by on the M1 motorway.
Newlands Park will include approximately 500,000 square foot of high-spec offices forming a landmark design, a large hotel with conferencing and meeting facilities; high-end, aspirational retail space to complement the existing retail in Luton; an innovative leisure hub housed in an iconic crystal design with a high-end cinema and a wide range of innovative, active leisure attractions.
What is 2020 Developments?
2020 Developments (Luton) Ltd is the property arm of Luton Town Football Cub. The are they applicant behind these proposals and landowners of the Newlands Park & Power Court sites.
What is C&R?
This is Capital and Regional, the London-based owners of The Mall shopping centre in Luton. They are the major objectors to the plans for Newlands Park and Power Court.
Why is Save Our Town supporting the plans for Newlands Park and Power Court?
We recognised the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that these developments represent for Luton, the town, as a whole.
They will transform the town centre in a physical sense and also transform perceptions of our town, which has long been maligned and unfairly stigmatised.
What are you saving our town from?
The Power Court site, in particular, has sat derelict and contaminated for more than a decade as an ugly blot on our town centre landscape. Alongside this, shops and businesses in the town centre sit dormant or boarded up, pubs and clubs have closed, while nightlife and leisure opportunities have dwindled.
These developments will address these areas that have experienced a decline, by creating welcoming, modern public spaces and facilities to people to live, work and play in.
But Luton has long had an unfair reputation and we believe these developments can be a catalyst to change that. It’s embarrassing and unfair to see our town constantly appearing on the list of top 5 worst towns in the country. It is not. We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn things around, with plans for Power Court and unused land at junction 10 of the M1 (Newlands Park) that will rejuvenate the town, reinvigorate our nightlife, leisure, entertainment and retail options and help put a sense of pride back into our town, by making Luton a place people want to visit, not avoid.
What does Save Our Town do?
Save Our Town is an independent, volunteer-led community campaign group made up of concerned Lutonians. We are raising awareness of the proposals for Newlands Park and Power Court and all the benefits they will provide because we are proud Lutonians who want to see our town progress and improve for the benefit of everyone. We do this through the media, both digital and traditional, and at engagement events which have been held in various different locations and communities within Luton, where we speak directly to local people.
Our mission is threefold. We want to make sure that the voices of support continue to be heard from 11,000 people that, in 2016, wrote to Luton Borough Council in support of the plans for Newlands Park and Power Court during a public consultation. This is a UK planning record number of responses. In comparison London Luton Airport only received around 200 letters of support for its extension.
We are also here to raise awareness of the proposals to people that haven’t heard of them, because they will benefit the whole town, so we are spreading the positive message of regeneration among as many Lutonians, supporters and local people as possible, from all communities and cultures.
Lastly, we are standing up for our town against any parties that do not have the interests of the town and its people at heart.
We will correct inaccuracies and misconceptions about either the plans or the place we call home and demand the progress Luton wants and deserves.
Are you responsible for the proposals for Power Court and Newlands Park?
We are an independent volunteer-led community campaign, which was formed in May 2018, whereas the proposals for Newlands Park and Power Court were unveiled, consulted on and submitted to Luton Borough Council in 2016 by 2020 Developments (Luton) Ltd, the property arm of Luton Town Football Club (the applicant).
Why are you asking for donations?
We are a volunteer-led community group trying to raise awareness of Newlands Park and Power and all the benefits these will bring to Luton. While we can reach people for free on social media, we are aiming to reach all members of our community and not everyone is on social media.
So, to produce physical campaign materials and spread the message through community events, this costs money. In comparison, the objectors to these plans are a multi-million-pound international retail organisation.
What will you do with donations leftover after the campaign comes to an end?
All funds will be donated to charity.
Do members of Save Our Town get paid?
No. We are all volunteers. All funds raised through donations go towards campaign materials and events.
Why does Save Our Town say these plans are about much more than football?
They are. It is true that the proposals have been put forward by 2020 Developments, the property arm of Luton Town Football Club, they cover two sites and a new 17,500-seat football stadium is only planned for Power Court.
That site will also have an 1,800-capacity music venue, bars restaurants, lifestyle retail units, a small niche cinema, a medium-sized hotel and banqueting venue, a creche/play area and potential education and medical facilities, a supermarket and 100 car parking spaces.
It will also see the River Lea revealed as part of an enhanced public space to complement the adjacent grade 1 listed St Mary’s Church.
Is Save Our Town for or against a new stadium for Luton Town Football Club at Power Court?
Save our Town fully supports proposals for the 17,500-seat stadium at Power Court. Even major objectors Capital and Regional (C&R), who own the Mall shopping centre, have no objection to the Power Court development.
The plans also provide a range of exciting new facilities, such as an 1,800-capacity music venue along with other leisure and entertainment facilities.
What does the #saveourtown hashtag mean?
#saveourtown acts as our brand and, with a prominent social media presence, this also makes it easier for us and our supporters to identify messages on the topic of the campaign.
Why should it be up to Luton Town Football Club to regenerate the town?
It is not up to Luton Town Football Club. Anyone can propose regenerative developments but to date no-one or no organisation has proposed developments for the town centre on the scale that have been put forward at Power Court and Newlands Park.
Power Court, in particular, has sat derelict and contaminated for more than a decade until it was identified as an ideal site for the facilities being proposed by 2020 Developments.
The club has been at the heart of the community for more than 100 years, but more so than ever before the people that currently run the club Hatters fans and/or Lutonians, so that have the interests of the town at heart.
They could have sought to build a stadium on its own but instead have identified a more complex opportunity to provide Luton and local people with developments and facilities that the town does not currently have – and all at no cost to taxpayers.
Are you part of Luton Town Football Club?
No. We are an independent, volunteer-led group. Some of our members are Luton Town fans but others are not even football fans.
What we all do have in common is that we are all passionate Lutonians, which is why the town, and not just the football club, is the focus of our work. Therefore, the plans for Newlands Park and Power Court are about much more than football.
Why can’t Luton Town Football Club stay at Kenilworth Road?
Luton Town can stay at Kenilworth Road but the land is not owned by the football club, it is owned by Luton Borough Council and the club have a long-term lease to remain there.
We love Kenilworth Road and our football following members have many happy memories there, but the stadium was built in 1905 and is no longer fit for purpose. Its location within the surrounding roads and houses means that there is no room to develop the stadium.
The club currently compete in League One but have ambitions to at least reach the Championship, which based on its financial power, is one of the top five football leagues in Europe.
The club believe that they would not be able to sustain themselves in the Championship in the long-term, should they get there, if they were to stay at Kenilworth Road. However, if the football club were to move to Power Court, this would free up the land at Kenilworth Road for the council to provide much-needed homes and community use in Bury Park, which would further regenerate Luton, in addition to the benefits that would be provided to the town from Power Court and Newlands Park.
How will Newlands Park and Power Court be funded?
The funding will come entirely from 2020 Developments shareholders and private funding. No funding will come from the public purse, which means that they will cost the taxpayer nothing, yet deliver more than a £250million annual boost to the local economy, plus 10,000 new jobs and a range of exciting new facilities.
Why are Luton Borough Council delaying their decision over Power Court and Newlands Park?
Since plans were submitted, Luton Borough Council have been following due process by commissioning impact assessments, environmental assessments and inviting comments from business and residents. The council has used this time to ensure that, once a decision is made, no objections can be raised about the planning process.
So, they are making every effort to ensure that there can be no legitimate request from objectors for a judicial review, should they approve the planning applications.
Unfortunately, the plans have one major objector in Capital and Regional, the owners of The Mall shopping centre.
From the outset they threatened, at a public meeting, to kick the plans “into the long grass”. It is quite possible that, without these objections, the plans would have already been approved and building works would be underway.
Why are Capital and Regional objecting to the plans?
C&R are only objecting to the Newlands Park scheme.
They believe the retail element of Newlands Park will impact on existing town centre retail. This is despite the retail elements of the Newlands Park proposal (there will also be many other facilities at Newlands Park, including leisure and more office space than retail) being conceived as high-end, aspirational retail, which will be complementary to existing town centre retail.
The Mall already operates under a needs-based model, which means this is where people can go to buy essentials, such as groceries, so there will be no competition between the two sites.
What will happen to The Mall if stores decide to relocate to Newlands Park?
Newlands Park will offer high-end, aspirational retail, which doesn’t currently exist in The Mall so, rather than compete for trade, it will act as a complementary addition to existing retail in Luton and make the town a more attractive place to shop.
This will keep Luton spend in Luton, which currently leaks to destination in neighbouring towns and counties and, in doing so, will add to the positive economic impact.
Also, there is a “non-poaching” clause included in the proposals which means that any tenant of the Mall wishing to relocate to Newlands Park will be subject to planning application and approval by Luton Borough Council. But Newlands Park will not be aiming to attract retailers that currently trade in The Mall.
Why is Save Our Town against Capital and Regional?
We disagree only with C&R’s oppositional stance to Newlands Park and the once-in-a-lifetime chance for Luton town centre to be transformed.
We believe The Mall, which is managed by C&R, will co-exist comfortably alongside Power Court and Newlands Park and that their shopping centre will benefit hugely from the influx of additional visitors that the facilities at both sites will bring into Luton, as well as the £250million annual boost for the local economy.
We also believe by opposing these plans, C&R are ignoring the will of thousands of Lutonians, including a UK planning record of 11,000 supporters, plus the businesses, politicians, prominent public personalities and celebrities, sportsmen and women, and thousands more Lutonians and local people that have since thrown their support behind the plans and Save Our Town.
Will the plans for Newlands Park kill off the town centre shopping?
No. The plans for Newlands Park were conceived to be complementary to existing town centre retail. An in-depth, independent, retail impact assessment of Newlands Park was carried out and this report shows there is no net impact.
The development at Newlands Park will be very different to the town centre.
Everyone stands to benefit, including the owners of the Mall, as this exciting new gateway development will help raise Luton’s profile and encourage more people to visit the town to spend their money, particularly as it will be visible to the tens of thousands of vehicles that use the M1 motorway.
If Luton Borough Council approve the planning applications can the building start?
In theory, yes, but due to the scale and size of the developments the plans will be referred by Luton Borough Council to the Secretary of State as a matter of course. Approval at this stage is for outline planning permission only, 2020 Developments Ltd will then have to present finer details to the LBC i.e. road layouts and proposed parking. This is known as Section 106 planning and will once again have to be approved by the Council.
How can you claim that Newlands Park and Power Court will boost the local economy by more than £250million a year and provide 10,000 new jobs?
We don’t claim this.
These figures were developed by an independent economic impact report, created by KPMG, which is one of the world’s big four auditors.
Who owns the land at Power Court?
2020 Developments Ltd owns the site at Power Court as well as the 40-acre site at Newlands Park.
Why is the land at Power Court contaminated?
An electricity power station was in operation on the site between 1901 and 1972. To bring this site back into use, 2020 Developments will embark on a costly clean-up operation before any ground works begin.
How will traffic be managed?
The Power Court travel plan was accepted and signed off after rigorous testing by Luton Borough Council and multiple external consultants acting on their behalf.
The town centre site is situated between two railway stations – Luton and Luton Airport Parkway – which will provide easy access by train. The bus interchange is also next to the stadium which give access for supporters from Leighton Buzzard to the airport and a Park and Ride service will operate between Newlands Park and Power Court on match days.
There are also plans for interceptor car parks on main arterial routes from where supporters would be bussed in.
What will happen to the Kenilworth Road stadium in Bury Park if the plans for Newlands Park and Power Court are approved?
If Luton Town Football Club relocate to Power Court, the current stadium will eventually be demolished to free up much-needed space for further regeneration on Luton Borough Council-owned land.
It will ease traffic congestion in residential areas and the council will then consult with the residents and businesses in Bury Park about the best use of the land and how it can be redeveloped.
Will the road layout at Junction 10 have to be changed again?
The road layout has already been improved, so will not need to change to access Newlands Park.
What affect will these developments have on the environment?
2020 have completed all the necessary environmental impact assessments. Toxic land at Power Court will be decontaminated and made safe again.
Road traffic is not expected to increase as Power Court is ideally located between two railway stations and the bus interchange.
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...
Best thing to happen in the history of the town
I love Luton amd wamt it to thrive. I want mpre opportunities for young and old.
The whole town not just the football club need this development for future generations to enjoy
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…..
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.
This is a massive opportunity for Luton
Both developments are a once in a lifetime opportunity for Luton and c&r do not own the town.
I believe both project will deliver a better future for Luton, culturally and financially
Luton needs this badly not just for the club but for the TOWN!!!!
Luton needs to progress for our future generations.
Luton both need and deserve a better future which the Power Court and Newlands developments offer !!!
I love my town and want to see it prosper
I sincerely believe it will move this town forward , bring opportunities to our community , our present and our future #saveourtown #please #thankyou
I want this great town to have a future and a new football stadium to be proud of.
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.
Luton as a town deserves investment and as a Lutonian I want to be proud of my home town once more.
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.
These projects are vitaly important for the future of Luton!
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
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
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!!!!!!!
It is not just about the football stadium, it’s about what the town needs. And the town needs this!
We need to transform our town. The football family need a new stadium, it needs to be in our town, OUR Luton Town!
Let’s make Luton the town it should be & give the football club the stadium it & its supporters deserve .
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.
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!
This is the brightest future Luton has had in many generations
I want a brighter, better town to benefit my children and grandchildren. These developments will make everyone proud of our town again.
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.
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.
I believe in this town and it’s people
This is a great opportunity to regenerate our town and to leave a lasting legacy to future generations
I. want my grandchildren to grow up to be proud of their town
This will just not benefit the football club, but the whole of the 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.