There are fears that plans by Oxford United to move to a new 16,000 capacity stadium north of the city would cause an “invasion of noise and environmental destruction”.

The football club is locked in talks with Oxfordshire County Council over its proposal to build a new stadium at an area of land known as the ‘Triangle’, east of Frieze Way and south of Kidlington Roundabout.

The League One club’s licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium runs out in 2026, with the council’s cabinet set to make a decision on whether the club can acquire the land at a meeting on September 19.

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Opponents in north Oxford and Kidlington argue the county council has failed to take their concerns seriously and fear “the over-development juggernaut” cannot be stopped.

Objectors also have concerns ‘outsiders’ supporting other football clubs hijacked a recent consultation process.

In evidence seen by The Oxford Times, Oxford United fans on Yellows Forum – an unofficial club forum – encouraged fans at football clubs to contribute to the consultation to help sway the decision in their favour.

A county council spokeswoman said “people living outside Oxfordshire were able to respond to the survey” because postcodes were requested.

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Oxford Mail: The Kassam StadiumThe Kassam Stadium (Image: Photo: Oxford Mail)

She added: “We will be able to analyse the views of people based on where they live and the report to cabinet on the survey will make clear how different groups responded.”

County councillor Ian Middleton, who represents Kidlington, described the findings as “deeply concerning”.

He said and said he was “not convinced” with the council’s assurances given that postcodes could be disingenuously used.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Ian Middleton Councillor Ian Middleton (Image: Contributed)

Paul Peros, chairman of the Oxford United supporters trust OxVox, admitted fans had “raised the idea” of speaking to fans at other football clubs to fill in the public consultation, but insisted: “These will still be people who will come to the stadium to spend money.

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“OxVox is not directly involved, but fans want to ensure as many people have a voice as possible.”

Meanwhile, householders living near the site of the proposed news stadium expressed frustration that their concerns remained “ignored”, in the face of massive housebuilding and the construction of the nearby Oxford North office and homes development. 

Tom Hyder, 56, an engineer who lives on nearby File Mile Drive, said the community was already “losing nearly all the surrounding countryside”, with plans to build on North Oxford Golf Club’s course and construct up to 800 homes around Water Eaton.

Oxford Mail: The Triangle The Triangle (Image: Ed Nix)

He attacked the council for not “making a big effort” with campaign groups picking up the slack.

He said: “The noise already carries over from the A34.

“The stadium noise is going to invade people’s gardens and homes. There is no hope of stopping the overdevelopment juggernaut.”

Mr Middleton criticised the council for running a consultation which was “unfair”

He said: “The opinions of people who will have to live with a stadium on a day-to-day basis are naturally going to be different to those from further away”.

The councillor believes “far more weight” should be given to practical concerns householders had raised with him, including increased traffic, crowds during events and the “inevitable noise and light pollution”.

In an attack on the council’s environmental credentials, Mr Middleton said: “As a council with net zero ambitions, people are questioning how things have got this far.

“The fact we’re even considering a project like this, on one of the last remaining parts of the Kidlington gap, is seen by some as a betrayal from the outset.”

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Rob Hayes, who lives on Banbury Road, criticised the council for “not properly scrutinising” development plans.

He said: “There is wildlife such as badgers and rabbits which will be run over as they will have nowhere to go.”

Linda Ward of the Oxfordshire Badger Group, said there were “badger road casualties” on Frieze Way, and said the proposal would inevitably lead to a loss of biodiversity and harm to wildlife.

Adrian Sutton, who lives in Cutteslowe – a mile from the Triangle – said he had “lost faith”.

He said: “The council has been utterly opaque. Car parking will be a massive issue for residents and businesses in Kidlington and north Oxford.”

Mr Sutton said it was not viable for fans to use the Park and Rides at Water Eaton and Peartree as they were created for those wanting to go shopping at the weekend.

Oxford Mail: Adrian Sutton Adrian Sutton (Image: Contributed)

A council spokeswoman said the club sent the council detailed information about its licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium, which supports the statement provided by the club. 

However, the authority said these documents have been disclosed on a commercially sensitive basis and so cannot be published.

OxVox’s Mr Peros disputed the suggestion the move would be “environmentally damaging” and said the club had promised a “net gain in biodiversity” for a site which was “contaminated wasteland”.

Victoria Campbell from the group Friends of Stratfield Break, said it came as “no surprise that United fans had orchestrated a campaign to mobilise fans from across the country to respond to the council’s consultation”.

She said: “The blame for this lies entirely with the county council.

“We warned councillor Calum Miller, who is leading on this proposal on the council’s behalf, that this would happen, and pressed for a secure method of consulting which would prioritise the views of those could be the most severely impacted.”

Ms Campbell said the club’s suggestion that biodiversity in the area would increase by 10 per cent was “absurd” and said the council should have encouraged negotiating the lease for the Kassam Stadium if it was truly committed to its zero-carbon pledge.

Oxford United failed to respond to a request for comment.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokeswoman said drop in public exhibitions were held in local community venues with opinions sought on the club’s response to seven strategic priorities, including environmental and ecological priorities.

She added: “Leaflets were distributed to properties within a two-mile radius of the Triangle and posters have been displayed within a range of public venues within this radius.

“Advertisements were broadcasted on a local radio station and the survey through various digital platforms.”

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Ed specialises in writing political stories for the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times. 

He joined in the team in February 2023, after completing a History undergraduate degree at the University of York and studying for his NCTJ diploma in London.

Ed’s weekly politics newsletter is released every Saturday morning.