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Design & Development

Council agrees heads of terms with Oxford United for stadium land

Featured image credit: Oxford United

Featured image credit: Oxford United

Oxfordshire County Council has reached a heads of terms agreement to lease land it owns near Kidlington for League One football club Oxford United to develop a new stadium.

The council’s cabinet agreed in principle for land known as the ‘Triangle’ to be leased to the club at a meeting back in September. The club is seeking to build a 16,000-capacity stadium, which would be the first in the UK powered solely by electricity.

A heads of terms deal has now been agreed after detailed negotiations, with the council stating that a number of other key legal and partnership agreements will follow to meet its strategic objectives, and to ensure that the club fulfils commitments to the local community and sports groups.

The council stressed that while the agreement represents “positive progress”, it is only one step in a wider process. Conditions of the lease agreement that United must meet include securing planning permission from Cherwell District Council, the production of a net-zero carbon plan, and a detailed set of proposals showing how the club will meet commitments around public transport, sustainable transport and infrastructure connectivity.

In February, United submitted a full planning application for its proposed new stadium to Cherwell District Council. The wider stadium site will feature a 180-bed hotel, a conference and event space, and a health and wellbeing centre.

United’s lease to play at the Kassam Stadium ends in 2026 and it is hoped the new stadium will be ready for the 2026-27 season. The submission of planning permission to Cherwell District Council came after the club adjusted its plans for the venue following a public consultation process that saw its project team attend more than 150 meetings.

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.