A barbershop owner who operates on the doorstep of Power Court says he’ll be a happy man if planning permission for a major regeneration project is granted – because it will benefit existing small businesses and give Lutonians the confidence to start up new ones.
Blain Park runs Blain’s Barbershop on Guildford Street, which is one minute’s walk away from what is currently a largely derelict site though, should Luton Borough Council grant planning permission tomorrow (Wednesday January 16), will become the new 17,500-seat home of Luton Town Football Club.
But the scheme is about much more than football as there are also proposals for a new 1,800-capacity music venue, bars, restaurants, leisure and entertainment facilities to help rejuvenate Luton’s dying nightlife, plus homes and a public piazza meeting space, in use 24/7, which will draw out the currently subterranean River Lea.
The proposals are one of two planning applications that will be decided this month after a long two-and-a-half year process since they were first submitted. While there are no major objectors to Power Court, it is Newlands Park, which will go before councillors on January 30, that is opposed by Capital & Regional, the owners of The Mall shopping centre.
But, as far as Power Court is concerned, Blain believes it will “give the area a bit of life” and bring about nothing but positivity to Luton’s business community.
“I think that’ll give people a bit more initiative and incentive to go out and try something on their own because they know there is going to be people about,” he said of the prospect of major transformation near his business, adding: “Everyone I’ve spoken to in the town is completely for Power Court.”