LUTON COUNTY COURT IS MOVING: BEAR THAT IN MIND OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS (AND AFTER THAT…)

It is difficult to describe the feeling when you turn up at a court that you have been going through for many years and it isn’t there.  It happened to me years ago when York County Court moved from one side of the city to another.   I regularly see tweets from lawyers turning up outside the old Doncaster County Court to find it boarded up and looking quite forlorn.  To avoid that happening to others I am publicising the fact that Luton County Court is moving.

(This map of Luton is from 1888 so it may be of  fairly limited practical assistance).

THE MOVE INTO ARNDALE HOUSE

To make life more complicated the move is in tranches. The new Civil Justice Centre is opening very shortly. The Court is moving out of Cresta House and into Arndale House.  I am informed:-

  •  District Judges  and most staff moving first on the 17th February 2020.
  • The Circuit Judges move on the 9 March 2020.

OFFICIAL NOTICE OF THE MOVE

The official notification can be found here. 

“This court’s administration will be moving from Cresta House to Arndale House between the 7 and 10 February 2020.
Our offices will be closed but the administration team can still be contacted  for urgent applications by phone or email.
Hearings will still take place at Cresta House.
Luton Justice Centre at floors 4 and 5, Arndale House, The Mall, Luton, LU1 2LJ will open on 11 February 2020. Hearings will be held at both sites for a short time.
Please check your hearing notice before attending court”

THE NEW COURT

I am very reliably informed that:

  • There are no old “registrar-sized” DJ chambers and the new court hase 10 variously-sized proper courtrooms over two floors, with separate judicial offices for both DJs and CJs.
  • Judges will use whichever courtroom is the most appropriately sized for their list.
  • There are  20+ conference rooms, also of various sizes, and a decent robing room.
  • There are huge windows all around so it is very light and bright, with far-reaching views over Luton, (which looks quite green and pleasant from that height.)
  • The quality of the fit out is brilliant – “like the Rolls building, but in Luton”.

CHECK YOUR HEARING NOTICE

The official advice is to check the hearing notice. It is dangerous to rely on your internal autopilot.