• Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

    Oxford United FC’s Proposal for New Stadium Approved with Conditions

    ByNuala Hafner

    Sep 19, 2023
    Oxford United FC’s Proposal for New Stadium Approved with Conditions

    The Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet has granted approval in principle for council-owned land near Kidlington to be leased to Oxford United FC for the construction of a new stadium. However, this approval comes with important conditions that the club must meet.

    Firstly, the club must obtain planning permission from Cherwell District Council. Additionally, Oxford United FC is required to produce a net-zero plan that includes detailed cost estimations and clear timelines for the design, construction, and operation of the stadium. The club must also provide a comprehensive explanation of how it intends to fulfill the commitments made in its previous submissions to the county council.

    To ensure that the land is exclusively used for football, community sports, leisure, and sports stadia, restrictive covenants will be put in place for the duration of the lease. Any commercial activities outside of the stadium footprint will be limited.

    The decision to lease the land instead of selling it was made following extensive public and stakeholder engagement throughout 2022 and 2023. Over 5,000 individuals and organizations participated in a survey conducted during June and July 2023, while a previous survey in January and February 2022 garnered over 3,700 responses. Feedback from the county council’s Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on September 13th was also considered.

    Cllr Liz Leffman, Oxfordshire County Council’s Leader, acknowledged the diverse and strong opinions surrounding the proposed stadium and expressed gratitude for the feedback received. She emphasized that transport and parking concerns raised by local residents had not been adequately addressed by the club and must be resolved during the planning process.

    The council’s primary goal in the decision-making process was to bring long-term benefits to the community, such as local employment opportunities, improved facilities for sports groups, and the preservation of Oxfordshire’s only professional football league club. As the club progresses with its plans, they will be closely scrutinized by the council to ensure they align with these objectives.

    The next step for Oxford United FC is to submit a planning application, providing another opportunity for residents to voice their opinions on the project.

    (Source: Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Report)