What is #saveourtown?

#saveourtown is an independent campaign to raise awareness of plans to transform Luton town centre with major regeneration proposals called Power Court and Newlands Park, which would give the town an annual economic boost of more than £250million and create 10,000 new jobs.

We're not alone

A UK planning record number of people – 11,000 – supported the proposals when first unveiled in 2016 and, with a planning decision hugely delayed due to one major objector, we aim to make sure their voices are not forgotten. It’s also our goal to engage with thousands of other Lutonians and local people about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Here’s what you’ve told us

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!”

Gareth Owen

Luton Town's Official Photographer

Latest news from #saveourtown

What is #saveourtown trying to achieve?

#saveourtown is an independent volunteer-led campaign group made up of Lutonians. We love Luton, but we know there’s room for progress. There now exists a once-in-life-time chance to support major transformation of our town, the like we have never seen before.

A dual-site regeneration proposal for Power Court, in the heart of the town, and Newlands Park, by junction 10 of the M1 motorway, is the most exciting, ambitious and inspirational development for Luton in our lifetimes. It will change our town, physically, for the better, but it will also help transform perceptions of our town, which has been unfairly stigmatised for generations.
We believe it’s time to put a sense of pride back into our town so, as concerned citizens, we are helping to raise awareness of these plans.

Thousands of you, celebrities, community figures, community groups, well-known Lutonians and businesses already support these proposals, but there is one major objector – Capital and Regional, a London and Johannesburg-based property company that owns The Mall shopping centre – which is trying to block the project and, as they have publicly stated, “kick the plans into the long grass”.

We believe these proposals will benefit The Mall too, so we say it’s time for Capital and Regional to listen to the will of the people and start supporting the plans that will give Luton a bright new future that we all want and deserve.

We are doing this by giving a voice to Lutonians through positive messages, community engagement events and multi-media campaigns about our town. We want to reach and hear from as many Lutonians and local people as possible because your voice matters most.

Now you’ve discovered our website you can find out more about the work that we are doing. You can find out about all the people and businesses that support our campaign. You can also follow us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube – and help amplify a positive message about Luton by sharing our posts and videos.

You can sign up to receive our newsletter and get all the latest #saveourtown news and information straight to your inbox.

But, most importantly, you can tell everyone, from your friends, family neighbours, co-workers and anyone you come into contact with.

Together we are stronger. Together we can #saveourtown.

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 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.

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...

 

Helen Gatward

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

Rosette Davies

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

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!

andrew kimberley

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

Anthony Mallon

These projects are vitaly important for the future of Luton!

Darren Howard

Luton needs to progress for our future generations.

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

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…..

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!

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.

Thomas Maher

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

Roger Pile

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

Ann Clarke

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

David Whittington

This is the brightest future Luton has had in many generations

John Harley

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

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.

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

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.

Dee Lovelock

This is a massive opportunity for Luton

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.

Jean Large

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

Vincent Mitchell

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

Chris Gathern

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

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.

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!!!!!!!

Sue Armstrong

I love my town and want to see it prosper

Ray Coot

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

sheila fitzgerald

I believe in this town and it’s people

Terry Coan

Best thing to happen in the history of the town

Simon Marshall

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

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.

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

Paul Haynes

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

 

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2 hours ago

Save Our Town

A guide to the background and system that leads us to the Cutenhoe Road Dome situation.

Background

1. The ruling Labour party has 32 Councillors and has a clear majority in the town.
2. The Councillors are the Ruling Labour Group that dictate policy.
3. The Ruling Labour Group is controlled by a Whip.

The road to the Dome.

2020 Developments Ltd submit a planning application for the Dome on land behind Cutenhoe Road.

It is considered by the Planning Development Control Committee which comprises of Councillors from all parties and approved.

As the land is being leased from the Council the question of whether the lease should be granted is referred to the Ruling Labour Party Group. They recommend to the Executive Committee not to lease the land to 2020 Developments Ltd. It is Council owned land and there is no obligation to lease it.

Meanwhile, the Senior Director, Property & Construction who is employed by the Council (not a councillor) and is a professional expert on commercial leases and property, agrees beneficial terms for the Council.

The Executive Committee comprises 10 Labour Councillors and generally look at issues such as national Government policy legislation affecting local Councils. They also consider matters of a financial nature such as this lease. The Executive Committee is within its rights to hold meetings behind closed doors when it is discussing financial matters.

Decisions that the Ruling Labour Group have proposed and agreed will be rubber stamped by the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee meeting to consider the Dome lease was held on 9 January were faced with these two scenarios:

a. The Ruling Group have decided to reject any lease at all.
b. The Senior Director, Property & Construction recommends approval.

The Executive Committee are obliged to follow the ruling group’s recommendations and the lease is rejected.

The future

There is a Call-In procedure whereby 2 or more Councillors can question the Executive Committee decision.

If certain criteria for the Call-In request are met the matter is referred to the Oversight Scrutiny Board (OSB) which is a cross party group.

The OSB have no power to overturn or change the Executive Committee decision. They will refer it back to the ruling Labour Group for further discussion if necessary. The Ruling group will then send its decision back to the Executive Committee who will rubber stamp it again!

Unless there is a massive change of decision, we are back to square 1 again.

Hamsters on a wheel springs to mind.

That’s democracy!
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1 day ago

Save Our Town

Potholes, grass needs cutting in your local park in the spring, social care requirements? Luton Council 'sorry, cutbacks, we can’t afford that.’ Meanwhile behind closed doors a committee of 10 decide they can reject an income stream against official advice! #dome #answers ... See MoreSee Less

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1 day ago

Save Our Town

Our recent posts have, understandably, drawn an emotional response from those who are passionate about the future of our local Football Club, as we are of course. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even those provocative individuals who seem to have attention-seeking issues! The facts speak for themselves and, for us, the Luton Council position simply doesn't bear scrutiny. As we have said before the two reasons for refusing a lease, after planning permission was granted, are:

1. That the land is earmarked for education purposes. (Whether that’s this Century or the 22nd we’re not told)

2. There’s a previous lease refusal that set a precedent. (For what sort of purpose, for how long, with what break clauses, by whom and when – we are not told.)

Save Our Town would respectfully suggest again that the offer of a twelve-month break clause in the lease, that we understand has been made, ensures that any future requirements for ‘educational’ use can easily be facilitated. We would also point out that providing physical education in an all-weather facility for local schoolchildren, compliments of Luton Town Football Club, is an opportunity most local authorities could only dream about. All local schools have supported The Dome plan, in writing, without reservation.

The previous lease refusal is irrelevant unless it offered the same complimentary community/education facilities, uses and benefits – oh, and it agreed to plant many hundreds of trees to suck up the carbon created from Airport Way.

Context is important: This is not just about football or Luton Town FC but it is directly linked to the viability of the town centre regeneration project, that you will remember is, set to create thousands of new jobs and a multi-million injection into our local economy. Category 2 Academy status is required by LTFC for their youth programme to survive and thrive. An all-weather training Dome is needed for that status to be won.

LTFC thrives; toxic land at Power Court gets converted into a multi-use facility including residential development, a live music venue, a new stadium, retail and a night-time leisure destination as well as a new Luton Gateway, mixed-use development at J10 of the M1. It’s all joined up – interdependent.
When people state that ‘Luton is not all about Luton Town’ they are of course correct. We are not sure what relevance the statement has though. The facts are that the Club has been the only constant thread of significance in this town since 1885 – that’s 135 years!! It’s part of the fabric whether you’re a fan or not. We’re trying to think of another organisation that could draw 42,000 Luton people to a single event on one day? It matters!

It is a force for good at many levels. Luton Town Community Trust makes huge contributions to the town it serves.

Underlying confrontation serves no one well. It causes division and unrest that only serve those that wallow in the stagnation and negativity that too often have held us back.

Whatever grievances and disagreements in the past, that we must presume have influenced the strange decision not to agree a lease for this essential training and educational facility, we again respectfully ask that those elected councillors on the Executive Committee at LBC reconsider the decision. We must all rise above petty issues and do what is best for OUR TOWN. Let’s not get to the point of no return. Everyone will lose.

Ask not what your Town can do for you – ask perhaps what you can do for your Town!
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2 days ago

Save Our Town

Residents and businesses of Luton - the next time you hear Luton Council say they have no money, remember the Executive Committee voted against a commercial revenue stream from Luton Town Football Club for the lease of land behind Cutenhoe Road. #trainingdome #lutontownacademy ... See MoreSee Less

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