Luton Town Supporters’ Trust & Loyal Luton Joint Statement re: BBC 3CR interview on Friday August 10

C&R “scaremongering” and misleading the people of Luton over Power Court and Newlands Park plans

Mall owners, Capital & Regional were once again scaremongering and misleading the people of Luton in an interview on BBC Three Counties Radio this morning.

Misrepresenting the findings of an independent retail impact study

This is C&R’s version of Project Fear. They are blatantly misrepresenting the findings of a detailed independent retail impact study which conclude that the impact of Newlands Park on the town centre will be minimal – somewhere between 1.1% and 2.9%. They claim between 12% and 20% – with no evidence to support that, just bombast and bluster. They ignore the fact, too, that with the profile of the retail element at Newlands Park (the size of which they consistently exaggerate) the crossover of demand is virtually non-existent – as stated in the independent report.

They also choose to ignore the incredible regeneration which will take place in Luton with the huge investment 2020 Developments are making in Power Court and Newlands Park:

  • Over 10,000 new jobs
  • £250 million coming into the local economy every year
  • At least 2000 new residents with huge spending power living in the town centre.

 

Misrepresenting the opinions of traders in The Mall

Nick Keable, the PR representative of C&R, this morning claimed that most of its tenants at The Mall agreed with the company’s opposition to the football club’s plans and only one supported the plans.  Complete nonsense. When Justin Dealey of BBC 3CR pointed out that he had conducted his own independent survey of Mall tenants and could not find a single person opposed to the plans, Keable sneered and intimated that Justin was not telling the truth. We think we know who to trust, and it is certainly not C&R.

Here’s something even more shocking.

Dealey revealed that in talking to Mall Store Managers he was told that individual managers had been called into meetings with representatives of C&R , asked whether they or any of their families were supporters of the football club and told that the plans for Newlands Park  would ‘destroy or damage the town centre’. Keable denied this. Again intimating that Dealey was making things up.

We think the reverse is opposite, Mr Keable – and that those actions are not just a ‘Project Fear’ but tantamount to what some might call intimidation – why on earth would they ask who is or isn’t a supporter of our town’s football club, and what have their families got to do with it? Are C&R trying to prevent their tenants from speaking up in favour of the regeneration of the town? It certainly looks that way.

Add to this the questionable nature of anonymous negative feedback about the plans, and the other suggestions of bullying tactics, and we smell a rat. A big rat. More to follow.

 

Tony Murray, Chair, Luton Town Supporters’ Trust

Mark Bradbury, Loyal Luton Supporters Club

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