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Luton Town secures new stadium site for £10m

By Tom Walker    02 Sep 2015
LTFC has secured a site for its planned new stadium

Luton Town Football Club (LTFC) is a step closer to building a new stadium after securing a plot of land close to the town for £10m.

In a statement, LTFC chair Gary Sweet said the club had purchased a 40-acre plot adjacent to the Junction 10a spur of the M1 motorway.

Sweet revealed that the club had been in line to secure the plot for some time, but confidentiality agreements had prevented LTFC to make any announcements earlier.

“We’ve held this piece of land under a registered option since 2013 and made the first sizeable payment this summer – resulting in the land now being in our control with the ownership title being be transferred next month,” Sweet said.

He added that while LTFC now owns the plot – and it is likely to be the site of the new stadium – the club hasn’t ruled out using the land for an alternative development and to build the stadium elsewhere.

“While this site will be for the benefit of LTFC and it is currently in the Luton Borough Council’s current Local Plan as the site earmarked for the future home of LTFC – it could sufficiently accommodate us – it could also serve as a valuable asset to help deliver a stadium elsewhere or nearby.”

If LTFC’s plan for a new stadium is proven successful, it will bring to an end one of the most protracted and colourful stadium relocations in English football – marked by a number of ambitious and bizarre proposals.

During the 1980s, when the club enjoyed some of its most successful years on the pitch, there were talks of moving the club to Milton Keynes – leading to fan boycotts and uproar from local residents.

Throughout the 1990s, during the chairmanship of David Kohler, a “Kohlerdome” was proposed, which would have seen a retractable roof and a pitch placed on a hovercraft that would have been moved in and out of the stadium on match days.

When the club was taken over by Mike Watson-Challis, the new chair announced plans to build a stadium next to the M1 motorway – proposals which were then bettered by his successor John Gurney, who announced that the stadium would be built on stilts above the M1 and also include an F1 Grand Prix track.

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