Luton is faced with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to regenerate our town centre with two major regeneration schemes at Power Court and Newlands Park. Together they will transform our town boosting the local economy by £250million a year and creating 10000 new jobs. And importantly they will act as a catalyst for further regeneration.

The two schemes – from Luton Town Football Club’s property arm 2020 Developments Ltd – include a 17500-seat stadium a 1800-capacity music venue bars restaurants entertainment and leisure facilities prestige office space and high-end retail that does not currently exist in Luton.

However despite the overwhelming support – including a UK planning record 11000 people who wrote in support to the council at the consultation stage back in 2016 – these plans are being delayed by a legal challenge. Capital & Regional the owners of The Mall shopping centre have applied by to the High Court for a judicial review which could scupper hopes of a bright new future for our town and cost Luton taxpayers up to £1million to defend in court.

With a General Election coming up on December 12 we have written to all the local candidates to become the Member of Parliament for both Luton South and Luton North asking for their stance on these proposals.

We are a strictly apolitical community group so we will publish one unedited response per day released in the order they were received by us. Here is Sarah Owen, the Labour Party candidate for Luton North…

Sarah Owen the Labour Party candidate for Luton North

Sarah Owen the Labour Party candidate for Luton North

I am 100% in support of a new stadium at Power Court and the development at Newlands Park.  

I won’t be one of those politicians who pretends to know everything about football, but what I do know is that it is more than a game. Football is about community, and this development has not only the support of the community but the needs of the community at its very heart. 

The creation of thousands of new jobs, from construction through to completion, is what many people in Luton are rightly crying out for.  This opportunity for regeneration, worth £250 million to the local economy, should be grabbed with both hands and I wholeheartedly back the campaign and Luton Council’s defence of the development. 

A newly developed stadium for Luton Town FC would provide facilities fit for future generations to come, who deserve a ground which meets their aspirations.”

Best wishes,