We are pleased to see that Kidlington Parish Council has written to Oxfordshire County Council to object to the stadium proposal. The letter objects on grounds of traffic congestion; parking; frequency of matches and other events; pledged benefits to residents; guarantees of OUFC commitments; and the Green Belt Gap.
The letter also includes this:
"The OCC Officer report on the issue gives insufficient weight to the fact that local opinion is so clearly opposed to the proposal; it relies far too much on the survey data for Oxfordshire as a whole. But the Oxfordshire data is skewed by the disproportionate response from Club supporters outside the 2-mile radius. Within the 2-mile radius, supporters responding are a minority of 1 to 2; in the County outside the radius they are a majority of 3 to 1. All that the Oxfordshire results really show is that club supporters in the County favour the proposal.
For the all reasons stated above we do not believe that the priorities have been sufficiently met for OCC to agree to the disposal or lease of the land at this stage. (We note that Sport England takes much the same view.) But meeting these concerns will require commitments by OCC as well as by the Club. As custodian of this key Green Belt site, OCC has a responsibility for its future use. It will be abdicating its responsibility if it leaves the resolution of concerns to the statutory planning process, which after all may well be concluded not in Cherwell but in Westminster."
We agree! This outcome was entirely predictable but why are the views of OUFC fans outside the 2-mile radius given priority over those living near to those who live close to the Triangle and would be most affected by its development? Why did the OCC Officer chose to rely so much on the survey data for Oxfordshire as a whole, particularly when it has been skewed by a dispropportionate response from OUFC supporters?
More information about the reasons for the objection can be read in the KPC Chair's Report August 2023.