Councillors welcome news after signing of land contracts for new stadium

It was announced at midday that a legally binding lease option between the U’s and Oxfordshire County Council, for land at The Triangle, south of Kidlington Roundabout, has been signed, in addition to a community collaboration agreement.

The council reported that the collaboration agreement ensures United will meet certain strategic priorities, including improving public transport, and commitments to local community and sports groups in both the short and long-term.

A county council statement said the signing of all contracts ‘represents a significant milestone in helping the club secure a long-term home in the county’.

READ ALSO: All land contracts for U’s proposed stadium have now been signed

Liberal Democrat county councillor Calum Miller said in a statement: “I welcome the news that Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford United have finalised the remaining legal documents that would allowed OUFC to proceed to lease the ground for its new stadium if all the other conditions are met.

“I share the excitement of fans about the League One play-off next Saturday. I want Oxford United to thrive and prosper as a community football club.

“That is why I voted in September 2023 to agree in principle that Oxfordshire County Council should lease The Triangle to the club. The question is now what type of stadium should be built?

“My support has always been subject to the club meeting certain conditions that protect the interests of local residents and of the club’s fans.

“The club’s current management has given a number of undertakings as part of its consultations with fans and residents, for example around traffic and parking.

“These were the basis for the reasonable conditions in the letter that was sent by OCC to the club, following the cabinet decision in September 2023.

“The new stadium needs to be the right stadium based on the right relationship between Oxford United and its new neighbours in Kidlington and north Oxford.

“The club should not cut corners on the elements of the scheme that matter most to local residents. As soon as the club sets out how it will fulfil all its undertakings, I believe we can progress with a stadium that everyone can be proud of.”

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Conservative county councillor Liam Walker posted on Twitter: “I’m really pleased to hear that the county council and Oxford United have now formally agreed the lease option on the land for a new stadium.

“This is a significant step forward and another milestone complete towards getting a shovel in the ground. Now for planning.”

The U’s are looking to build a new home at The Triangle, with the club’s licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium running out in 2026.

At the end of February, a full planning application was submitted to Cherwell District Council, for the construction of a 16,000-capacity ground at The Triangle.

United will be able to fully exercise the 250-year lease once planning permission has been obtained from the district council.

A target decision date for the application has been set at June 21, with Cherwell’s next planning committee meeting set for June 6.

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