The finance chief responsible for negotiating legal terms with a football club has put in a formal objection to their stadium application prompting concerns about a "massive conflict of interest".

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for finance, Dan Levy, shared his reservations against the Oxford United stadium plans which were uploaded to the Cherwell District Council website on April 15.

Oxford Mail: Oxford United proposed stadium.Oxford United proposed stadium. (Image: Oxford United)

The club has submitted its planning application for a 16,000-capacity stadium at The Triangle, south of Kidlington Roundabout, with its licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium running out in 2026.

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Mr Levy said in his objection there was a lot in the planning application that was "excellent" but that he had reservations about travel arrangements on match days.

Oxford Mail: Dan Levy.Dan Levy. (Image: Other.)

Labour group leader Liz Brighouse said: "This is a massive conflict of interest.

"He's been involved in negotiations and is now interfering in whether or not planning permission is given by putting in an objection.

Ms Brighouse went on to say the Liberal Democrats had been "filibustering" for three years and "putting in jeopardy the future of Oxford United".

She added: "I believe they don't like it (the stadium) and they don't understand the impact that football has on the lives of young people in particular."

Oxford Mail: Liz Brighouse.Liz Brighouse. (Image: Oxfordshire County Council.)

Mr Levy says he "does not believe there is any conflict of interest".

He added: "As cabinet member for finance, I am working closely with officers on negotiating heads of terms with the club for the lease of the land at the Triangle. Good progress has been made and we hope to make a formal announcement shortly.

"As councillor for Eynsham, I want to make sure the impact of the proposed stadium on our highways is carefully managed as residents of Eynsham and Cassington will be affected by the additional traffic.

"This is not a party political issue. What we all want is a successful OUFC, a stadium we can be proud of, and something that works for both residents and the club alike."

But leader of the Conservative opposition, Eddie Reeves, said: “I struggle to maintain confidence in Cllr Levy as the cabinet member for finance. There appears to be a de facto, if not a de jure, conflict of interest between Cllr Levy’s position as cabinet member for finance and his privately held views.

Oxford Mail: Eddie Reeves.Eddie Reeves. (Image: Oxfordshire County Council.)

“At full council on 16 April 2024, when asked by me when the council would conclude its negotiations with OUFC, Cllr Levy made it clear that the parties were making 'good progress'.

"Inadvertently or otherwise, he volunteered as part of his answer that he had been in discussions with the club expressly in his capacity as the council’s cabinet member for finance.

"At no time, however, did he also disclose that he had submitted a planning objection to OUFC’s plans just a day earlier on 15 April 2024 as he should – morally, if not legally – have done."

Mr Levy had said in his objection that the effect of a road closure on Oxford Road before and after match days was "likely to put extra traffic on Frieze Way and on the roundabouts at each end of it, and on the Wolvercote roundabout".

His comments come after county council highways chief Andrew Gant also submitted an objection for similar reasons and was criticised for simultaneously "championing closing down roads in parts of Oxford with LTNs".