A site has been located for a possible new stadium for Oxford United Football Club.

The club has earmarked the Oxfordshire County Council-owned Stratfield Brake Sports Ground, just off the A34 at Frieze Way, Kidlington, to build a new 18,000-capacity community stadium. It is seeking a 250-year leasehold arrangement on the 18-hectare site which falls within Cherwell district.

United’s licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium, its home since 2001, which is owned by Firoka, the company of former chairman Firoz Kassam, expires in 2026 and the club is known to be seeking to relocate.

OCC’s cabinet will consider the club’s proposal at its meeting on Tuesday, January 18.

Subject to cabinet approval, United will then progress work on a planning application for a new stadium on part of the site (see illustrative masterplan below).

Club managing director Niall McWilliams said: “We are very pleased to be in a position to announce an update on our long-awaited stadium search.

“It has always been our desire to be in control of our own destiny and build a sustainable future for the club on our own terms and we are hopeful that this proposed stadium move would enable us to do exactly that.

“As we have always said, this project is about more than football – we are determined to be part of a project that brings international class sporting and community facilities to Oxfordshire.

“We have an ownership group who are determined to take this club to the next level, both on and off the field. More importantly, they see it as their obligation to do this in a structured and sustainable way which protects the long-term future of the football club.

“We thank Oxfordshire County Council for their considered approach in assessing our proposal and, should the decision be to proceed, we look forward to working with them, our fans and local stakeholders in bringing forward our plans for our long-awaited new community stadium.”

The move would also seek to build on the club’s community outreach programme and the club says it will seek to evolve plans for complementary uses on the remainder of the site.

These would include fan facilities and other uses providing revenue streams, while also providing new facilities and jobs.

The club says discussions will also be held with Gosford All Blacks and Kidlington Cricket Club, both of which play at the sports ground, along with other Stratfield Brake stakeholders, so they can all continue to play locally, but with improved facilities.

The proposed stadium site is considered highly sustainable and accessible. It is close to Oxford Parkway station, Oxford Parkway Park & Ride and the A34. The current Kassam Stadium is highly dependent on car access.

The club says it will provide a further statement after next Tuesday’s decision.

The council agenda can be seen here.

UK Property Forums consultant Hugh Blaza weighs up the winners and losers of United’s proposed move.

Image: Google.

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