A final decision on whether Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and Oxford United can agree terms for a potential new stadium at Kidlington could be announced within four months.

On Tuesday (March 21) OCC’s cabinet is expected to approve a timetable and a memorandum of understanding to help guide talks between the council and the club for its move to a council-owned site known as The Triangle, east of Frieze Way.

Councillors will also seek to agree a plan for engagement with stakeholders and the community. Initial talks began in January.

The timetable, published ahead of Tuesday’s meeting states three scenarios:

  • An optimistic case where a final decision is made by the cabinet on July 18
  • A likely case where a final decision is made by the cabinet on September 19
  • An elongated case where a final decision is made by the cabinet on November 23.

Cllr Calum Miller, cabinet member for finance, said: “This is a significant decision for fans of Oxford United, local people in this area and residents across the county so the decision and the process leading up to it needs to be as open and transparent as possible.

“We also know that it is an urgent project for the club, who have outlined their need to find an alternative home before 2026. We are committed to responding promptly to them and to taking decisions in a timely way. That’s why officers were in touch with the club the day after the January cabinet meeting and regular discussions have been taking place ever since.

“At our cabinet meeting on 21 March, we will be asked to approve a timetable for the next stages and a memorandum of understanding with the club on the process in the coming months.

“The first step is for the club to provide further detailed proposals. We know they are working to deliver these.

“We are building into the proposed timetable a period of public and stakeholder engagement that will commence as soon as the club’s proposals have been received. It will focus on whether the club’s proposals address the council’s seven strategic priorities for the use of the land.

“We are also encouraging the club to continue to undertake their own engagement with local residents and fans as their plans develop.

“We want everyone to be able to share their views with us before we take a final decision. The club’s need to find a new home is well understood, but any decision we take has to be guided by the overarching aim of whether it brings benefit to our community in Oxfordshire.”

The football club is currently working on plans for an 18,000-seat stadium. If a deal is struck with OCC, a planning application will be submitted to Cherwell District Council.

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