Oxford United is making ‘great progress’ preparing a planning application for its new stadium.
The team aims to establish a new venue at The Triangle, situated south of Kidlington Roundabout, as its current licence agreement for the Kassam Stadium expires in 2026.
While initial expectations were for the planning application to have been submitted by the last autumn or Christmas, both self-imposed deadlines have passed without an application to Cherwell District Council.
In a Q&A interview through the club’s website, Jon Clarke, Oxford United’s Development Director, said: “We are making great progress. I fully appreciate the anticipation, and the aim is to submit planning at the earliest opportunity.
“However, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not just for Oxford United, but for Oxfordshire and beyond, and it’s crucial that we get it right.
“Following the public consultation and ongoing meetings, we have gathered a huge amount of feedback and are positively adapting our plans where appropriate.
“The scale of the response, which saw more than 70,000 people engage with the project, has meant our timescale has moved slightly. This is not unusual in a significant community infrastructure project of this nature. I expect us to be able to submit our full planning application soon.
He added: The stadium will have better links to public transport and create new connections for the wider community. This will include a new east-to-west pedestrian and cycle route through the stadium site and improved foot and cycleway links along Oxford Road to Oxford Parkway Railway Station and Oxford Parkway Park & Ride site.
Feasibility studies have concluded that over time, 90% of supporters coming to the new stadium will be able to arrive via active travel. We are working on additional measures to further enhance connectivity, including a pedestrian bridge over Oxford Road. We have made a commitment for the bridge to be fully explored, and our project team is looking at this as we speak.
The proposed stadium has a bowl shape with a low roof designed to keep the atmosphere in and to minimise noise and light pollution. The club hopes the design and providing rail seats for safe standing in 25% of the stadium would make it a winner with supporters and fans.