Hundreds of new homes approved for area where football stadium planned

The Kidlington development was given the green light by councillors at a Cherwell District Council planning meeting on Thursday. 

This means 800 homes will be coming to land just off Oxford Road which is east of Pipal Cottage.

Concerns had previously been expressed by ward councillors such as Ian Middleton over a “tsunami of planning applications” and the prospect there may soon be “no green space left” as development continues in land that separates Kidlington from Oxford.

Masterplan. (Image: Cherwell District Council.)

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The approval for the new homes comes as Oxford United hopes to build a 16,000-capacity stadium at a site called The Triangle next to Oxford Road, allowing it to leave its current home at the Kassam Stadium, where the lease expires in 2026.

The application for 800 homes had been put forward by Bellway Homes and Christ Church, Oxford.

Objector Felicity Staveley-Taylor, who lives “very nearby though outside the Cherwell area”, said: “The green gap will be destroyed forever.

“If the Oxford United Stadium building goes ahead on the Triangle, there will be very significant traffic, parking and noise issues for residents of this development.”

Another objector, Ben Staveley-Taylor, added: “The development as outlined is massively damaging to the green gap between Oxford and Kidlington, preservation of which is stated as a local planning priority.

“There should be a requirement to preserve a green border of at least 10 metres of mature trees between the Oxford Road edge and the housing.

“This will at least preserve the appearance of green belt for residents of both Oxford and Kidlington.”

Oxford United proposed stadium.Oxford United proposed stadium. (Image: Oxford United)

The 45.8 hectare development site has already been allocated for residential development under the local plan, which the planning officer described at Thursday’s meeting as “specifically to meet Oxford’s unmet housing need”.

The original number of houses allowed for in the local plan was 690 but the applicant’s request to build up to 800 was dubbed “no problem in principle” by the planning officer.

Speaking out at the meeting, Kidlington councillor Ian Middleton said: “I’m slightly concerned by the frequent reference to it being an allocated site.

“That doesn’t mean we can ignore concerns.”

Mr Middleton previously said he believed some developers may be taking advantage of a “tsunami of planning applications” to push applications through “without proper scrutiny” due to “hundreds of applications” suggesting a “breakdown in the consultation process”.

Ian Middleton.Ian Middleton. (Image: Ed Nix.)

But a proponent of the plan, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said at the meeting: “Our proposals have been rigorously consulted on.

“There is in the Cherwell district and elsewhere an urgent need for more housing.

“We have listened to feedback and therefore I am pleased only 10 public objections were received on the initial submission and only five on the revised proposals.”

Approval of the application was proposed by Labour councillor Amanda Watkins, seconded by Labour councillor Rebecca Biegel and passed with 16 votes for, none against and two abstentions.

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