This is what I emailed over to the planning team at LBC. If you’re thinking of doing the same, guidelines on what to include can be found here:
In support of Power Court (REF: 16/01400) & Newlands Park (REF: 16/01401)
I, as a resident of Luton, write to voice my support for the submitted planning applications from 2020 developments for the schemes at Power Court (REF: 16/01400) and Newlands Park (REF: 16/01401).
I’m certain that many of the supporting emails you have received for these two applications have started with heartfelt tales of the length and depth of the author’s support for Luton Town Football club. This will not be one of those emails. I have no need to recount the magic wand that was Jean Louis Valois’ left foot or how I once saw Steve Howard at a restaurant in London but was too frightened to ask the big man for an autograph because I thought he’d be annoyed and I’d seen how he’d bruised opposition centre halfs season after season. This will not be one of those emails because all of those things are all in the past and this email is about the future.
I work in a Luton High School as a Careers Advisor. This means my role is at the interface of education and local business. Local young people want to be work ready and local employers want a highly skilled local workforce. For both of these outcomes to be successfully achieved, Luton needs to both be a desirable destination for a range of employers to base their operations and engage with the local community and our young people need to experience the local labour market and aspire to live and work in the area in their later lives.
Progress is being made on both fronts. Luton is already home to a number of remarkable businesses that are proud to be involved with the local community and it is also a hugely exciting time in the redevelopment of the town with projects such as Napier Park, the Cultural Quarter and the expansion of London Luton Airport. The local education system is also stepping up to the mark with new schools and facilities opening, impressive Ofsted grades and region beating progression statistics. Both of the developments from the 2020 group would be massively beneficial projects to these aims.
I visited the 2020 exhibition at the Hat Factory and was impressed then with the thought and diligence that had gone into all aspects of the proposed sites but, upon reading the online planning documents and particularly the Socio-Economic submission, I am now convinced of the important role the developments could play in the future economic health of the town. The developments align with the aims of the Luton Investment Framework and the growth outcomes of SEMLEP’s strategic economic plan. The mix of retail, office and entertainment space at Newlands Park and the retail and hospitality plans for Power Court will offer a range of business investment. The commitment from 2020 to offer local young people apprenticeship opportunities during the construction phase and beyond will be hugely valuable to offering desirable progression routes and the KPMG estimate of 9,780 full-time roles added to the local economy by 2030 will be highly beneficial to enticing talented young workers to remain in the local area after leaving education. The influx of new companies to the area that take up the spaces will offer new opportunities for collaboration between education and business across the town and so improve the skills base and work readiness of our young people.
The economic benefits to both of the developments are clear and these, combined with the proposed spaces dedicated for cultural and social events, will have positive ancillary impacts across the wider Luton community which mean I fully support both the Power Court and Newlands Park proposals.
(writing in a personal capactiy)
Stopsley High School