OXFORD United are aiming to move a step closer to a new stadium today.

The club’s proposal to lease land at Stratfield Brake, near Kidlington, will be discussed by Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet.

Read also: Oxford United confirm Stratfield Brake stadium plans

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the meeting.

When and where is the cabinet meeting?

It starts at 2pm and will be held in the council chamber at County Hall. A video link to watch the meeting will be available here: https://oxon.cc/Cabinet18012022.

We will also be live blogging the meeting at oxfordmail.co.uk.

What will be discussed?

Firstly, it’s important to note that the Stratfield Brake proposal is not the only issue councillors will talk about. It’s down as agenda item 11, so chances are it won’t be addressed until long after 2pm.

In terms of United’s proposal, the cabinet is recommended to ‘enter into negotiations as requested by Oxford United Football Club (OUFC) and with Oxfordshire County Council’s current tenants to enable the use of Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) owned land for the development of a new football stadium, subject to planning permission’.

In short, councillors will decide whether to allow United to lease the land for 250 years, with a view to building on the site.

As you’ll probably know by now, United have asked for 18 hectares. Initial plans include an 18,000-capacity stadium, sports and community grounds and hotel, retail and conference facilities.

If the council approves the proposal, can United apply for planning permission?

Not yet. They will still need to iron out the terms of the land transfer with the county council and its tenants at Stratfield Brake. Should cabinet give the green light tomorrow, it is hoped this would be agreed sometime this spring.

The cabinet papers suggest United would then need to submit a planning application to Cherwell District Council by May 2023 to be playing in a new ground in 2026, when their lease at the Kassam Stadium runs out.

Which key issues come up in the cabinet report?

One item that immediately raised eyebrows related to the ownership of the site. It is vital that United and the council get this right, as the club must avoid repeating their situation at the Kassam Stadium. They don’t own the ground and pay substantial rent to former chairman Firoz Kassam.

The cabinet report includes the line: ‘OUFC propose that the lease would be taken in the name of a corporate entity, owned 100% by Oxford United Directors shareholders, to be set up to develop the scheme’.

The U’s have since addressed this and say it is a ‘key objective’ that the stadium is controlled by the club for the full 250-year lease.

Anything else to look out for?

It is important to say that cabinet members will not be discussing exactly what is built on the site, despite the report showing an illustration of how it could look. This is only an example and not the plan that would be submitted.

Oxford Mail:

An illustrative masterplan of Oxford United's proposals for Stratfield Brake Picture: Oxfordshire County Council

It will also be interesting to see what councillors say about the site being on Green Belt land. This has already drawn criticism from certain quarters, especially with other developments being built nearby.

Last but not least, several community sports teams already use Stratfield Brake by way of a hire agreement. Clubs like Gosford All Blacks, Kidlington Cricket Club and Kidlington Youth FC have been asked to provide their thoughts on the initial plans ahead of the cabinet meeting. You can read what some of them told us here.