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7. LAND TO THE EAST OF M1 JUNCTION 12 – COMMUNITY STADIUM FOR
LUTON TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB AND WAREHOUSE/DISTRIBUTION
DEVELOPMENT
1.0 PURPOSE OF REPORT
1.1 To inform Members of the scope and current status of the recently
submitted planning applications and Environmental Assessment for a
community football stadium with warehouse/distribution units at Harlington
Road, Toddington.
2.0 RECOMMENDATION
2.1 To note the information and to update Members of the Committee with
further reports to follow as appropriate.
3.0 BACKGROUND
3.1 An Environmental Statement has been submitted in support of an outline
planning application (reference SB/TP/08/0230) ‘for the erection of a
community stadium of 20,000 seat capacity, with the potential to be
expanded to 25,000 seats for Luton Town FC. Outdoor sports pitches
(8,907 sqm in total). Community facilities within stadium including an eightcourt
sports hall, a public access gym, flexible community space (exercise
studios) and meeting rooms. Ancillary facilities within the community
stadium including club shop and cafe/bar uses. Erection of five
warehouse/distribution units (Class B8) (179,123 Sqm of storage and
distribution units with ancillary office accommodation). Access
enhancements including construction of new pedestrian link to Harlington
Railway Station and associate bus link infrastructure; internal road
infrastructure, parking and servicing areas including provision for coach
parking and alighting; and new landscaping.’
3.2 A separate request for a Screening Opinion had been submitted 15th June
2007. The Council responded by letter dated 6th July 2007 confirming its
view that the development constitutes EIA development and that an
Environmental Impact Assessment was required.
3.3 A Scoping Opinion was sought by the applicants under cover of letter
dated 12th July 2007. The Council responded to this by letter dated 27th
September 2007 and made a number of comments with regard to the
scope of the statement.
3.4 The planning application was registered on 27th February 2008 and is in
outline form with access to be determined. Layout, scale, appearance and
landscaping are reserved for future consideration. In accordance with
Circular 01/2006 the amount of development is specified, confirmed as
being 29,722sqm for community stadium (excluding the new outdoor
pitches) and 179,123 sqm for storage and distribution use.
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3.5 A separate full application (reference 08/00325/FULL) involving Land at
Harlington Railway Station and Land to the West of Harlington Railway
Station for an ‘access to serve Community Stadium, storage and
distribution uses; including pedestrian link, shuttlebus loop, bus shelter
and landscaping’ has been submitted to Mid Bedfordshire District Council.
3.6 The statutory 21 day consultation period for the main outline application
ends on 31st March 2008 but as this is a major application with an
Environmental Impact Assessment, comments have been welcomed until
21st April 2008.
3.7 All of the documents have been placed on the Councils website with easy
option links to view the layout plan and summary.
4.0 INITIAL OUTLINE OF ISSUES RAISED IN APPLICANTS PLANNING
STATEMENT
4.1 The applicants have submitted the following documents;
 Planning application forms and plans
 Planning Statement
 Environmental Statement Non Technical Summary
 Environmental Statement Main Text
 Environmental Statement Technical Appendices
 Design and Access Statement
 Transport Assessment
 Transport Assessment Figures and Appendices
 Statement of Community Involvement
 Sustainability Statement
 PPS6 Statement
4.2 The warehouse development, comprising 5 units, is put forward as
enabling development, allowing for £25 million funding which, together
with grants and other sources would make the stadium affordable to Luton
Town Football Club. The statement considers that the M1 Junction 12 site
is the only available, viable and sustainable site to accommodate a
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4.5 The Thameslink 2000 project involves the upgrading of Harlington Station
to accommodate 12 carriage trains. The applicants propose a shuttle bus
service from the station to the stadium. Alternative travel choice is
considered under the Travel Assessment.
4.6 The applicants advise that the Community Stadium would be available for
use by numerous sporting, leisure, community organisations, local schools
and the education establishment.
4.7 The proposed Stadium would be used for professional matches, reserve
matches, other matches, music concerts and other sports events.
4.8 The warehousing would be 24 hour use, 7 days per week.
4.9 The applicants advise that they have considered the following alternative
sites;
 Kenilworth Road
 M1 Junction 11a
 M1 Junction 10
 Land to the north of Luton, Houghton Regis and Dunstable
 Napier Park, Luton
 Vauxhall Test Track, Chaul End
 Land to the East of Leighton Buzzard
 MK Dons Stadium, Milton Keynes
All are considered by the applicant to have restrictive constraints.
4.10 The applicants Planning Statement includes a section addressing the
need to justify very special circumstances, the site being within the Green
Belt. This is followed by a section, which considers the appropriateness of
the supporting development (Warehouse/distribution) and conclusions.
These are reproduced at Appendix A to this report.
5.0 CONCLUSION
5.1 Consultation is under way and a number of comments have already been
received including a letter from the Director of LTFC 2020 Ltd, the
company that has exchanged contracts to purchase Luton Town Football
Club out of administration. This is included at Appendix B to this report.
5.2 The submissions are complex and the views of many consultees,
including the Highways Agency, are awaited. It is intended to update
Members of the Planning Committee of the significant responses, prior to
the report of the application for formal determination.
5.3 The illustrative layout and typical elevations are attached at Appendix C to
this report.
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6.0 Environmental Implications
6.1 This report is an information report. Therefore, in terms of South
Bedfordshire District Councils Corporate Environmental Policy, the
recommendations are exempt from environmental assessment.
Contact Officer: John Ellis
Job Title: Team Leader (Major Applications Team)
E-mail: John.Ellis@southbeds.gov.uk
Portfolio Holders: Councillor Nicols and Councillor
McVicar
Extension No.: 32266
Direct Dial:
0845 849 6174
Background Papers (open to public inspection): None
Appendices:
Appendix A – Extract from J12 Planning Statement (pages 61-85 inclusive) from
Goodman International.
Appendix B – Letter from Stephen Browne, Director LTFC2020 Ltd (dated 5
March 2008).
Appendix C – Illustrative layout and typical elevations of proposed development
from Goodman International.