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Oxford United stadium land negotiations

Discussions with Oxford United FC about the potential use of council-owned land for a new stadium.

The proposal

Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford United Football Club (OUFC) are in negotiations on the terms on which council-owned land could be used for the development of a new stadium for the club.

The land, known as ‘the Triangle’, is located east of Frieze Way and south of the Kidlington roundabout.

A site at Stratfield Brake in Kidlington had initially been proposed by the club, but it was recognised there were challenges associated with it. Officers subsequently identified the Triangle as an alternative location and the council’s cabinet has confirmed that negotiations are about this site.

The council has not yet made a decision about whether OUFC can lease or buy the land at the Triangle. Any final decision regarding the leasing or sale will be taken in public at a future cabinet meeting. To receive agreement from the council, the club’s proposal must bring benefit to our communities in Oxfordshire.

About the land

The land is located east of Frieze Way and south of Kidlington roundabout. Known as ‘the Triangle’, it is approximately 5 hectares in size. It is situated in the green belt. 

The Triangle is close to Oxford Parkway railway station and the park and ride at Water Eaton. It is currently let to a single leaseholder and there is no current public access.

The negotiations

The council is currently negotiating commercial heads of terms with the football club.

These terms are non-binding. For OUFC to receive an agreement from the cabinet to lease or buy the Triangle site from the council, the club’s proposal must address the following key strategic priorities set out by the council for the use of the land:

  • maintaining a green barrier between Oxford and Kidlington and protecting and enhancing the surrounding environment including biodiversity, connecting habitats, and supporting nature recovery
  • improving public access to high quality nature and green spaces
  • enhancing inclusive facilities for local sports groups and ongoing financial support
  • significantly improving the infrastructure connectivity in this location, improving public transport to reduce the need for car travel in so far as possible, and to improve sustainable transport through increased walking, cycling and rail use
  • developing local employment opportunities in Oxfordshire
  • increasing education and innovation through the provision of an accessible sports centre of excellence and facilities linked to elite sport, community sport, health and wellbeing
  • supporting the council’s net zero carbon emissions pledge through highly sustainable development.

It must also meet objectives around managing financial risk and obtaining the best value for the taxpayer from any transaction.

The decision about the land

The council has not yet made a decision about whether OUFC can lease or buy the land at the Triangle. 

A decision on whether OUFC can lease or buy the land at the Triangle will be taken in public at a future cabinet meeting. This is expected to be in September 2023.

For a final decision about the development of the proposed stadium the football club would need to submit a planning application to Cherwell District Council as the local planning authority. It would then go through a full planning process involving public consultation.

Having your say

The council is committed to seeking the views of a wide range of stakeholders and the public before making a final decision. A six-week engagement exercise open to everyone will take place once the club’s proposals have been developed and the impacts clearly identified.

Further details about the engagement exercise will be provided on 15 May.

The council is currently progressing with phase 1 of its engagement strategy, which comprises targeted stakeholder engagement. Meetings are taking place with a range of stakeholders in April and May to explore early views with regard to the OUFC proposals.

A briefing meeting for county councillors was held on 17 April. Councillors posed questions to OUFC chief executive Tim Williams, director of development Jon Clarke and head of strategy Niall McWilliams. You can read the questions and answers (docs format, 147Kb).

Who’s who in this process?

Set out below are the roles and responsibilities of each party.

  • Oxfordshire United Football Club (OUFC) is responsible for the proposal to build a new football stadium. The club has publicly committed to engaging fans and local communities. Information about this engagement activity is available on the club’s website - links are provided below.
  • Oxfordshire County Council owns the land at the Triangle where OUFC want to build their new stadium. The council has committed to engaging a wide range of stakeholders to explore their views on the extent to which OUFC’s plans address the strategic priorities set out by the council.
  • Cherwell District Council is the local planning authority with statutory responsibility for deciding if OUFC can build a new stadium at the Triangle. Formal public consultation is part of the planning process.

Information published by OUFC

The club has published a range of material about its proposals. The club is accountable for this content, which is published on their website. 

Proposed timeline

The following provides an indicative timeline. 

Date Details
January - May 2023 OUFC pre-planning and planning work
March - May 2023 OUFC community engagement
April - May 2023 Council undertaking targeted engagement with stakeholders on OUFC’s emerging scheme and whether it addresses the council’s strategic priorities
23 May 2023 Cabinet meeting setting out the final arrangements for public engagement and feedback from stakeholder engagement undertaken to date
5 June 2023 Publication of OUFC final information regarding the proposed stadium
5 June to 23 July 2023 Council to undertake public engagement on whether OUFC’s scheme meets the council’s strategic priorities (see note below)
19 September 2023 Cabinet meeting at which a decision will be taken on the use of the land
End September onwards OUFC to decide whether to submit a planning application to Cherwell District Council and to start the statutory planning process

Note about 5 June to 23 July 2023

We are committed to a six-week engagement exercise after the club’s proposals have been published. If OUFC provides sufficient information to identify the impact of the proposals sooner than 5 June, this engagement period can start sooner and this could bring forward the Cabinet decision. The council is mindful that August is a month in which many people are away and would seek to avoid engagement during the peak holiday season.

Next steps for the council

The council has recently been provided with further information by OUFC as regards its long-term vision and intent. Officers will now await more detailed plans.


OUFC approached the council in late 2021 with a proposal to develop Stratfield Brake playing fields and the Triangle for a scheme including a new home stadium and commercial development.

On 18 January 2022, Cabinet agreed to undertake a public engagement exercise to understand local views and set out a series of objectives that any scheme should address prior to a final decision being made.

A council-led public engagement exercise was undertaken in January and February 2022.

On 15 March 2022, Cabinet agreed that officers would conduct discussions with OUFC to deepen their understanding of the detailed proposals being made and to consider their compatibility with the council’s strategic priorities.

OUFC published their RIBA stage 0 report in December 2022. This utilises the design process set out by the Royal Institute of British Architects (the RIBA plan of work).

Following consideration of the proposals, Cabinet met on 24 January 2023 and agreed to enter into non-binding negotiations for the use of the Triangle only for a new stadium.

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Cabinet papers