Oxford United: Council rows back on road closure plan for stadium

By Nathan BriantBBC South Online

OUFC  A computer generated image of the planned Oxford United stadium, with a blue outside and a small collection of trees to the right of it OUFC

The club said its lease at the Kassam Stadium will run out in summer 2026

A councillor who said he would not allow Oxford United’s proposed stadium if it meant a road was closed on match days said that is no longer the case.

The Championship club submitted a plan for the 16,000-capacity ground at the Triangle in Kidlington in February but a planning decision will not be made until 2025.

Oxfordshire County Council has provisionally agreed to lease the Triangle to the club and an agreement between the parties was published on Friday.

Last year, Dan Levy, cabinet member for finance, said Oxford Road must not be closed on match days but said on Tuesday the council has no powers to order that.

OUFC  The planned stadium looking from Oxford Road towards Kidlington OUFC

Planning permission will not be granted until 2025 at the earliest, the club said

He said only police and an advisory panel, including members of emergency services, can order the road is shut for safety reasons.

“There will be 16,000 fans trying to get across a road so rather than standing for something that could not be achieved, we haven’t done that,” he said.

“But I am confident that the situation will be OK once [the stadium is built].”

He added: “There’s a long way to go between where we currently are and the football club getting planning permission, let alone completing the stadium.

“I am confident that prior to getting planning permission, a lot of the issues that people are concerned about will be resolved.”

A map of The Triangle and Stratfield Brake, where OUFC initially wanted to build, in the top left of the picture and and Oxford Parkway station to the right

The club will need to build crossings on Frieze Way and Oxford Road – to the left and right of the club logo, respectively

Ian Middleton, a Kidlington councillor who has been critical of the club and its plan, told Mr Levy that some residents “see this as a betrayal in their trust of this council”.

The U’s have agreed to submit a separate planning application for a bridge that supporters could use from Oxford Parkway station to the Triangle site.

It will also need to provide a “sustainable travel plan which promotes sustainable transport methods” and other road improvements.

The club warned last month that it might need to find a temporary home between their lease at the Kassam Stadium expiring in summer 2026 and the new stadium opening.

Google  Oxford Road looking towards Oxford from Kidlington, with four cars on the left hand lane and another driving towards Kidlington in the right hand lane Google

Under the club’s current plans, part of B4260 Oxford Road could be closed for a time before and after Oxford United matches

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