THE director of Oxford’s ice hockey team says the possibility of having a new rink at Stratfield Brake is ‘exciting’.

Oxford United’s proposal for a stadium at the Kidlington site was revealed earlier this month and a public consultation went live yesterday.

The Oxfordshire County Council consultation, which will run until February 21, will enable residents and businesses to have their say, before the council’s cabinet decides whether to let United enter into negotiations over the land at its meeting on March 15.

The cabinet was recommended to approve the proposal at its meeting last Tuesday, but decided to defer to allow more information to be gathered.

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An illustrative master plan in county council officers’ report for the proposal showed how the site could look, with the map – which is for indicative purposes only and subject to planning – featuring a small arena alongside the stadium.

Oxford City Stars director Greig Box Turnbull said the Stars’ current arena in Oxpens Road is ‘dated’ and the opportunity to upgrade to a modern arena is something being explored.

He said: “The proposals are a wonderful opportunity for Oxfordshire, not just for sport, but for the broader community too.

“We fully appreciate the initial outline is conceptual to help fuel debate and shape plans, there’s a long way to go and a lot that needs to be discussed.

“But the concept is positive and is an exciting opportunity for multiple sports.

“Oxpens has always been the Stars’ home and it’s an arena we all love that holds so many memories for so many people, but equally it is dated and an opportunity to play in a new modern arena is something we are of course open to exploring.

Oxford Mail: Oxford Ice Rink in Oxpens Road. Picture: Mhari HackettOxford Ice Rink in Oxpens Road. Picture: Mhari Hackett

“We’re an ambitious club and proud to represent our community and the chance to have a brand new rink on the same site as Oxford United and other Oxfordshire clubs is exciting.

“It is what Oxfordshire needs to take its sports clubs and community leisure provisions to the next level and put us on a par with other flagship cities.”

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The Oxpens development is set to include more than 300 houses and flats, as well as a 155-bedroom hotel.

Mr Box Turnbull said: “The Oxpens area of the city is due to be developed and so the timing could work for Oxford City Council to move, but we haven’t received any formal engagement from city or county council to date regarding Stratfield Brake.

“At this stage, the way ahead is unclear. Obviously, the rink is owned by Oxford City Council and the club is one of several users of the facility.

“We’ve spoken to Oxford United and are due to meet in the coming weeks to discuss it and will be seeking engagement with councils too.

“We have a lot of questions and our full position will of course depend on the finer detail.”