Luton Town Relocation Plans

Kenneth E End

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A couple of milestones that have been passed in the last fortnight were revealed in today's matchday programme from club CEO Gary Sweet.

  • The club have managed to garner support from the ruling Labour party, who will very likely still be in power during the forthcoming local elections.
  • Council support has also been given for an enabling development, not necessarily in the same location, which would help finance a stadium that would "benefit the town greatly". I'm guessing this is some form of leisure park, which we don't really have in this town.
  • The club have entered the "pre-application" stage with the Council's Planning Office, meaning that a formal application will be registered in the not too distant future. Still a lot of work to do.
  • Luton Town, with the support of local investors, now have the finance to purchase land.
  • The preferred site still remains confidential, however they expect further details to be announced later in the summer.
Was having a discussion about this earlier - there aren't too many sites available in the town. What is available is usually ridiculously expensive because of the airport and other major transport links, or has several caveats transposed on it.

I still think the favourite is the site near Venue 360 - a gym/clubhouse on land to the left of the dual carriageway driving towards the airport. Vacant land behind it, which interested the club in developing as a training ground. As I say, land is at a premium. Either that, or possibly sites in North Luton, where new homes are set to be built in the not too distant future.
 
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#2
Is that the Vauxhall Recreation Centre? Will they be allowed to plonk a stadium under the approach to the airport? Good location given proximity to Luton Parkway.
 
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#3
I won't believe a word of this until I'm sitting in my seat just before kick off of the first game in the bloody thing!

Judging from the notes about the importance of public transport In the development I'm guessing it will be somewhere on the busway or close to one of the stations.
 

Kenneth E End

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Is that the Vauxhall Recreation Centre? Will they be allowed to plonk a stadium under the approach to the airport? Good location given proximity to Luton Parkway.
Formerly known as that yes, however I heard today that as part of the sale to Vauxhall from Luton Hoo, there was clause saying the playing fields behind could not be built on. It certainly is my favourite site, due to road, rail and air access, as well as the short distance from the town centre. And its a shorter distance from my home! A stadium in North Luton would be a 30-45 minute drive depending on traffic at times!

Not directly on the approach to Luton Airport, however I'm not sure how much floodlighting would affect aircraft on that approach. I'm thinking that if it were the case, floodlights would be built inside the stadium a la Loftus Road.
 
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Floodlights shouldn't be an issue, if an aircraft is flying that low on the approach then they've got the more serious issue of slamming into the cliff at that end of the runway to think about!

It's not on the flight path in any case.
 

Kenneth E End

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Floodlights shouldn't be an issue, if an aircraft is flying that low on the approach then they've got the more serious issue of slamming into the cliff at that end of the runway to think about!
Not structurally, visually, it could potentially cause confusion in an extreme case, in poor weather conditions. Still think its not an issue though.
 

You Orns

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#7
How many new stadium plans have you had now?
We've managed to totally redevelop the Vic in the time since you first tried to move, it's got to happen eventually though, I don't see you ever coming properly back until you're out of Kennelworth Road
 
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Not structurally, visually, it could potentially cause confusion in an extreme case, in poor weather conditions. Still think its not an issue though.
Yeah shouldn't be an issue, would have thought NOTAMs would be put out when the floodlights are in use.

Plus they are floodlights, exactly what you want in bad weather!
 
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#10
The lights pilots look for wouldn't (I seriously hope) get confused with floodlights, even if they are only half a mile from the runway. In bad weather, you'd be using instruments over picking out whatever's brightest and landing on it.

I like the 360, would be a shame to get rid of it as there's little similar around in Luton. Aside from knocking down the Arndale, I can't think of many better sites for a new ground.

Fingers crossed this isn't another false dawn for your lot.
 

Kenneth E End

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The lights pilots look for wouldn't (I seriously hope) get confused with floodlights, even if they are only half a mile from the runway. In bad weather, you'd be using instruments over picking out whatever's brightest and landing on it.

I like the 360, would be a shame to get rid of it as there's little similar around in Luton. Aside from knocking down the Arndale, I can't think of many better sites for a new ground.

Fingers crossed this isn't another false dawn for your lot.
Pilots do silly things when they're spatially disorientated. LTN hasn't had a crash involving a passenger aircraft since 1981, but could potentially mean that the airport is "due". The ground would be less than half a mile from the runway threshold, but as I say I don't think it would cause an issue. In previous attempts, a "public safety zone" was given as a reason why a plan didn't go any further, but I seem to recall this being a red herring. Especially with there many homes, offices and roads directly under that flight path!

I don't think the plan would be to get rid of Venue 360 - its one of the best sports facilities in the region. I think long term, the club would utilise the facilities as a training ground. There is wasteland next to the Venue 360 site, which currently contains The Brache restaurant and Premier Inn hotel, that will probably have to make way, as may a handful of homes surrounding it. There are large playing fields behind the sports centre site too.
 

Kenneth E End

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Just wondering what sort of capacity, we would be looking for. Reading the programme notes, it seems that this is a pretty fluid situation still. Very much depends what division we reside in obviously, however I look at Brighton & Hove Albion and think - we can do that. I can't see us being in a stadium until the very least 2018-19, when hopefully we'll be in, or very close to the Championship.

This season, we sold 5,800 season tickets - probably underselling in terms of price, which then inhibits our ability to maximise revenue when there's high demand. We've averaged around 8,600 fans per game, which is our highest average since 2007 I think. We've already sold 4,300 season tickets for next season, with a fairly substantial price increase.

I'd say initially build a 16,000-seater stadium, with the ability to extend substantially should there be the need.
 

Judge Dredd

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Yeah 15k ish with ability to quickly extend to 17.5k or 20k would be ideal. Maybe scope to go eventually to 25k if it really took off at some undetermined point in the future but that's a long way off. I just dread the thought of us rattling around in a massive half full stadium ala Conventry or the Franchise.
 
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If Venue was to stay, that would be directly along that line (through the tennis courts). If it's being built further towards town then it's not. *Shrug*.
Either way, I think what we're all getting at is that A) the issues of the airport vicinity can be worked around B) even as a concept this is an awful long way from realisation.
 

Judge Dredd

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He seems like a total bellend, but in all fairness Power Court being the preferred site was just about the worst kept secret going.

It would be a fucking brilliant location for a new ground by the way, none of that godawful middle of nowhere Frankie and Bennies stuff for us.
 

Kenneth E End

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I remain to be convinced we could get a planning application through on that site, nor do I think the logistics of the site would work - the area is already heavily congested and is in the middle of a town centre, on a Saturday afternoon, with an extra 10-15,000 people plus. I'll wait for the plans in detail, as 2020 have a tendency of pleasantly surprising us whatever they do.
 
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They've put a load of idiotic traffic lights on that roundabout in front of it, it would be a nightmare round there on a match day.

Don't know why this councillor has felt need to run his mouth about it yet, hope it hasn't caused any issues with the project.
 

genesimmons

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i lived in luton for a bit and attended odd game and even i definatelty feel it for the fans in that ground. very antique these days with a replacement long and am sure the attendances will support a new bigger stadium. a new stadium will hopefully bring a few more fans along too. Various fans in the town had said plans had been ongoing for years with various sites muted such as stockwell park, the prefered site on old vauxhall factory and even a barmy proposal to re-locate to toddington of m1. And what was crack about a milton keynes move
 

Kenneth E End

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**sigh**

Yet another local politician trying to get her profile raised at the commercial expense of our possible new stadium plans. Front page of the Luton News this morning is that there are 3 sites in contention:
1. Power Court - owned by British Land, recently flattened. Prime real estate in the middle of town, close to both shopping centre and train station. Heavily populated area and often congested; I'm not convinced by the size of the site.
2. The Brache/Venue 360 - land behind the former Vauxhall Recreation Centre, close to the main link road between the motorway and Luton Airport. My favoured site, close to Luton Airport Parkway rail station, hotels; walking distance to the town centre and a ready made training base.
3. Junction 10A - land owned by the family of former owner Mike Watson-Challis, who sold the club for £4 to recently imprisoned John Gurney. The local plan and probably the council's favoured option and in its "Local Plan", its out of town and not easy to get to without a car.

An announcement is due to be made at the start of the current season.
 

Judge Dredd

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Power Court site is more than big enough. It's a similar size to the site Swansea built their new ground on if memory serves.

That article is worthless by the by, nothing we didn't already know. The stuff about Junction 10A being the council's preferred site is months old. The club have stated unequivocally that they don't see J10A as viable and will resist any attempt to make us build out there.

I'm 75% certain we'll put in a proposal for planning permission at Power Court.
 

Judge Dredd

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#22
Apart from anything else, if we choose the Brache the stadium will be on a road called "Gipsy Lane". Doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "Power Court Stadium", although I'm sure many opposition fans will suggest that it is more fitting!
 

You Orns

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#23
Your just opening yourself up if you build a stadium on Gipsy Lane considering that's what your called in our kneck of the woods anyway.

Rivalry aside it's good to see things moving forward again for you now, I hope to see a cup derby again soon even if a league meeting is still a long way away.
 

BelizeHatter

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Could be a lot closer than you think yellow belly.

The Gipsy Lane site looks a better fit purely geographically from traffic/rail routes yet still within reach of Town walk. The access Road will def need renaming though. Worried about all this as The Kenny is a dump but it's our dump all we've ever known and I do love it. Not been to a single new ground I'd have wanted for us. Hope it's a QPR Brentford esqe design. Tight and compact.
 

Hatter86

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I love the idea of Power Court, I just don't see how it's possible. Whilst I'm sure the site itself is big enough, its central location will gridlock the town center every other Saturday.
I'd be massively disappointed if it was 10A. It's so far out of town and no way of getting there other than by car which isn't ideal. Sadly it's probably the most likely venue.
I think the best option is the Brache/Venue 360. Ample space, just on the outshirts of town, off of the motorway, walking distance from Parkway.

Interesting to see how it unfolds.
 

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