OXFORD United have outlined how they intend to address a series of strategic priorities as part of their proposals to build a new ground.

The U’s are looking to build a 16,000-capacity stadium at ‘The Triangle’, south of Kidlington Roundabout, with the club’s licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium terminated and set to run out in 2026.

Oxfordshire County Council has set the club seven strategic priorities for the use of the council-owned land, and for United to lease or buy the site, the club’s proposals must address these strategic priorities.

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On September 19, the council’s cabinet will decide whether or not to lease or sell land at The Triangle to the U’s.

United have submitted seven documents to the council, which among other things, assess how the club will address the strategic priorities.

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Strategic priority one: Maintaining a green barrier between Oxford and Kidlington and protecting and enhancing the surrounding environment including biodiversity, connecting habitats and supporting nature recovery.

The U’s have said that the proposed stadium will be at the far south of The Triangle site, ‘providing a useable and publicly accessible green space to the north’.

A club document adds: “The proposed development highlights the opportunity for enhancement to the woodland through planting of natural local species, including trees, shrubs and landscaped gardens, to support the nature recovery of the area.”

Strategic priority two: Improving public access to high-quality nature and green spaces.

United have stated: “The current site is leased by a tenant, is fenced and not accessible to the public. The proposed development of the site will allow public access to the site and improve the appearance of the boundary fencing and tree lines.”

Strategic priority three: Enhancing inclusive facilities for local sports groups and ongoing financial support.

A U’s report says: “The proposed development includes the proposal to provide both maintenance and financial support for the Stratfield Brake sports pitches.

“We will create a formal partnership between Oxford United and the four local sports clubs as well as their governing bodies, enabling them to benefit from support from a professional sport club.

“We will also put in place a formal arrangement with Kidlington Parish Council, and Gosford and Water Eaton Parish Council, whereby the club takes on their pitch maintenance.

“We believe this would represent a major annual financial saving for the parish, releasing funds each year for investment in other local priorities.

“Our very successful women’s team will be based at the stadium and will further develop their outreach programme to work closely with local schools and clubs.

“We believe the increased visibility of our women’s team will lead to a further spurt in the growth of the women’s game in Oxfordshire.”

Oxford Mail: Oxford United Women players celebrate. Picture: Darrell FisherOxford United Women players celebrate. Picture: Darrell Fisher

Strategic priority four: Significantly improving the infrastructure connectivity in this location, improving public transport to reduce the need for car travel in so far as possible, and to improve sustainable transport through increased walking, cycling, bus and rail use.

“The proposed development has a reduced number of new car parking spaces with approximately 150 match day stadium car parking spaces being proposed,” United reported.

“Nearby pre-existing public car parking spaces, such as the nearby park and rides, will be used with fans arriving at the stadium via shuttle buses.

“Oxford United is in discussions with the local bus service providers to develop an enhanced public bus service along Oxford Road and dedicated fan services on match days.

“It is important to note that the details of the travel plan is a matter for the planning process in collaboration with the statutory planning and highway authorities.”

Strategic priority five: Developing local employment opportunities in Oxfordshire.

The U’s stated: “The proposed development is to provide around £100.9 million investment into construction and will support approximately 380 temporary jobs through the construction period. It is anticipated that a further 340 direct full-time jobs will be supported, both in and around the proposed new stadium.”

Strategic priority six: Increasing education and innovation through the provision of an accessible sports centre of excellence and facilities linked to elite sport, community sport, health and wellbeing.

United have said there will be an apprenticeship partnership with local schools, colleges and universities.

Strategic priority seven: Supporting the council’s net zero carbon emissions pledge through highly sustainable development.

The U’s stated sustainable measures have been highlighted in the early design phase, including: the installation of solar panels to the roofs, electrical charging points, reduction in ‘single-use plastic’ in construction, and targets to divert waste from landfill to over 95 per cent.

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About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/newsletters/

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.