Design & Development

Oxford submits plans for all-electric stadium

Featured image credit: Oxford United

League One football club Oxford United has submitted a full planning application for its proposed new stadium, which aims to be the first in the UK powered solely by electricity.

The application, which is now awaiting validation, has been submitted to Cherwell District Council. United is seeking to build a 16,000-capacity stadium on an area of land known as The Triangle, near Kidlington.

Oxford has also announced that it will be undertaking a planning application process to build a bridge as part of the development plans to further enhance connectivity. The wider stadium site will feature a 180-bed hotel, a conference and event space, and a health and wellbeing centre.

The club hopes to move into the stadium by 2026. Earlier this month, Oxford announced that the venue would be the first ‘all-electric’ stadium in the UK, with 1,200 solar panels to be fitted and air source heat pumps to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% compared to gas boilers.

United is hoping to achieve net-zero by 2040 and the club said its new stadium would be in the top 1% of sustainable stadiums globally. Oxford recently became the first League One club to sign the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.

Oxford has placed the visitor experience, inclusivity and sustainability at the heart of the design of the new stadium, which will include a safe standing allocation, sensory room, 130 wheelchair spaces and wellbeing gardens. The club’s history will also be incorporated into the design via a modern interpretation of the famous Manor Ground arch at the entrance.

The planning application has been submitted after Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet gave principle consent to lease the Triangle site to the club, whose lease at the Kassam Stadium ends in 2026.

Last month, Oxford adjusted its plans following a public consultation process that saw its project team attend more than 150 meetings.

Jon Clarke, development director at Oxford, said: “Submitting our full planning application further demonstrates the club’s commitment to delivering a new state-of-the-art landmark that will benefit the entire community.

“Our thanks go to our whole stadium project team who have worked tirelessly to submit this extensive planning application. We received a high volume of feedback during the public consultation and revised our plans based on some observations. This process helped ensure we got our application correct and, in light of the extensive response received, took slightly longer than anticipated.

“We look forward to continuing to share details of the plans and working closely with key stakeholders including Cherwell District Council and Oxfordshire County Council to bring our vision to reality.”

Oxford 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.