Supporter groups react to heads of terms being agreed

Yesterday morning, Oxfordshire County Council reported that an agreement between the local authority and United has been reached more than seven months after the council’s cabinet approved in principle the lease of land to develop a new stadium.

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

In February, United submitted a full planning application to Cherwell District Council, for the construction of a 16,000-capacity ground.

READ ALSO: Heads of terms for proposed stadium agreed between U’s and county council

SEE MORE: Oxford United release statement after stadium heads of terms agreed

Reacting to the news that heads of terms had been agreed, OxVox chair Paul Peros told this newspaper: “We’ve been working on all stuff this for years now, and each step is one going forward. There are a lot of small steps, but this feels like a big one.

“These sorts of details need to be done right. We’d have liked this part to be quicker, but there’s an understanding of the situation, and we’re just glad to get it done.

“This was always going to be a very difficult step, as there is a lot of politics involved. It’s a community project, so the heads of terms had to be done right.

“We’ve been here throughout the process, speaking to councillors and the key stakeholders, and we knew the heads of terms weren’t far off, so it’s really good that it’s done now.

“It’s time to look forward rather than back. We all want this to be a watertight leasehold for the club.

“This stage now prepares us even more for what’s to come in the planning stage.”

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Oxford United Supporters’ Panel secretary Janine Bailey also embraced the update on heads of terms, but was slightly more apprehensive, referring to what the club said in a statement yesterday afternoon.

The U’s noted: “We’re delighted Oxfordshire County Council has also given an undertaking to sign the remaining key legal and partnership agreements this week.”

Referring to the line that other paperwork is still to be signed, Bailey said: “We’re making solid progress and this is a positive, without a doubt, but there’s a part of me that’s always apprehensive with these things.

“The club said other documents need to be signed, and these are legally binding agreements, so once they’re all signed, I’ll be a bit more happy knowing that they’re signed off.

“It’s taken a while, but you can never comment when nothing is happening, and talks are progressing. It has to be meaningful communication.

“The planning meeting is next up, and there’ll likely be amendments made during that process.

“It’s going to be a really busy summer. It certainly won’t be a dull off-season with everything switching off around the club.”

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