News broke yesterday that a law firm representing Capital & Regional, the owners of The Mall shopping centre, have labelled the decision to grant planning permission for Newlands Park ‘unlawful’, calling on the it to be ‘quashed’.
A letter to the council has confirmed that an application will be made to the High Court for a Judicial Review if the Council does not review its original outcome.
Here is our response…
Nigel Green, Chairman of the #saveourtown committee, said: “We are outraged that a law firm representing Capital & Regional have given notice of intent to apply for a judicial review regards Newlands Park.
“This is an attempt to overturn a democratically elected council planning decision, which has received government backing.
“Lutonians are sick to death of these bully-boy tactics that have continually stuck two fingers in our faces. However, this time, such flagrant and transparent disregard for the wishes of our town will now hit us all in the pocket.
“Luton Council will now be forced to defend a popular and historic decision with our tax money.
“Judicial reviews are expensive and there has been some suggestion that one for the Power Court and Newlands Park developments could cost at least £0.5million to defend.
“At very least, if we look at a recent example, Lutonians had to foot a £100,000 bill four years ago when the council lost a similar appeal over a development in Houghton Regis.
“Since then, council budgets have been decimated, with the government slashing the funding grant to the point that it will soon not exist at all. Times are tough.
“So, despite the overwhelming support for Newlands Park at local and national level, a judicial review could now have very grave consequences.
“Such action could take much-needed money away from social care for the most vulnerable children and elderly people, or cash to fix our roads, or funds to keep things like libraries open.
“This level of callous corporate greed is rooted in a desire to line only the pockets of a faceless group of shareholders, and to hell with the people of Luton.
“How dare Capital & Regional continue to treat Lutonians like this.
“Their ridiculous claims that they work in the interests of local communities rang hollow a long time ago and the contempt they have for Lutonians, who want only a better future for our children, is now abundantly clear.
“They are not working for the benefit of our town and our community. They are enemies of the people.
“We Lutonians deserve better and our town deserves the bright new future promised to us.”