Luton Town Football Club could face a delay in developing its new stadium after a Judicial Review against part of the scheme was submitted.
The club and 2020 Developments expressed extreme disappointment at discovering that there has been a claim to the High Court for a Judicial Review upon Luton Council’s decision to grant planning permission for Newlands Park.
Luton Town says it needs to build Newlands Park, a shopping and leisure facility, at junction 10 of the M1 to finance the new stadium.
But Capital and Regional, which owns the Mall shopping centre in Luton, claims the Newlands development is “unlawful”.
The initial capacity of the stadium, designed by AndArchitects, is set to be 17,500, rising to 23,000 as the club grows.
The stadium site will also feature new public spaces and facilities, including a 1,800-capacity live events venue, bars, restaurants, a hotel and 550 apartments.
A spokesman for Luton Town FC said of the setback:
The claim by Capital & Regional does not come as a surprise given their track record of opposing our plans and, we believe, their claims have no merit whatsoever.
Indeed, it has always been our view that Capital & Regional have opposed and continue to oppose our plans on commercial factors rather than factors of public interest.
Naturally, their decision to make such a claim will lead to delays to the regeneration of Luton and will not only incur significant costs to our own business affecting our operational expenditure but also to Luton Council, which will be funded by the local taxpayer.
The spokesman said the action also goes against the interests of the community, of which over 10,000 supported the club’s applications in writing at the committee meeting earlier this year, after which the approval was not called in by The Secretary of State.
2020 Developments will now support the Council in their vigorous defence of the challenge.
In a statement Luton Borough Council said:
We remain entirely confident the decision-making process contained no legal flaws, which is a view supported by our legal representatives who have been scrutinising the grounds for challenge put forward.