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Design & Development

Oxford tweaks stadium plans following public feedback

Featured image credit: Oxford United

League One football club Oxford United has adjusted its plans for a new stadium following a public consultation process that saw its project team attend more than 150 meetings.

In October, Oxford, which currently plays at the 12,500-capacity Kassam Stadium, unveiled updated plans and new images for a 16,000-capacity venue it hopes to call home by 2026.

The club is planning a stadium complex that will also incorporate a hotel, restaurant, conference centre, health and wellbeing space, and a community plaza.

The plans were unveiled after Oxfordshire County Council approved proposals for the club to lease land and build the stadium on the ‘Kidlington Triangle’, but a number of conditions were imposed, including a requirement for the club to produce a net-zero plan that is fully costed.

It had been expected that a planning application for the stadium would be submitted before the end of 2023, but the club confirmed today (Tuesday) that the process has taken “slightly longer than anticipated”.

The public consultation meeting saw 1.5 million people visit Oxford’s dedicated stadium website, with more than 70,000 people engaging with the product. United said that it wants to incorporate feedback from the responses it has had before finalising its plans.

“We have adjusted our designs in response to the consultation and will be releasing these soon,” the club said in a statement. “We are committed to delivering a new, modern, sustainable stadium which is a significant community landmark – this is about getting the right facility for everyone.

“The submission of our planning application, along with the release of further details on the updates we’ve made to our plans, will follow in due course. This includes our improved accessibility strategy, and news of exciting developments around the club’s net-zero ambitions.”

United said it remains focused on submitting the planning application at the earliest opportunity with a view to moving into the new stadium in time for the 2026-27 season. The club’s lease agreement to play at Kassam Stadium expires in 2026.

Prior to the club releasing updated plans in October, the project faced a legal challenge from environmental campaigners. The challenge from the Friends of Stratfield Brake group centred on the club’s lease deal at Kassam Stadium.

United announced in June last year that AFL Architects, Ridge and Partners, Mott MacDonald and Fabrik would make up the team seeking to deliver the new stadium.