WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT AT
Kidlington Parish Council (KPC)’s Annual Parish Meeting.
Please come along to Exeter Hall this Thursday 30th March from 7.30 to 9.30pm
Niall McWilliams (OUFC Chief Strategy Officer) and Cllr Calum Miller (Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Cabinet member for finance) will participate in a Question and Answer session starting at around 8.15 pm. The meeting is expected to close at around 9.30 pm.
Please attend in person
Submit any questions in advance
Please help KPC by emailing any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE BE AT EXETER HALL ON THURSDAY
- Why won’t OUFC publish proof that that the club cannot stay at Kassam?
- Why hasn’t OCC undertaken a secure consultation to find out what residents in the vicinity of the stadium think of the proposal?
- Why is OCC rushing to dispose of publicly owned land to a private company which is already deeply in debt?
- Why does a struggling lower league team need world class stadium facilities?
- A freedom of information request showed that OCC was prepared to give Stratfield Brake away for 250 years at a peppercorn rate.Plus OUFC would have had the option to purchase the freehold. Is OCC going to give the Triangle away for almost nothing?
- Covenants on land are worthless in the long term so if OCC does sell the land, how does it plan to avoid a repetition of Kassam?
- The Triangle is a biodiverse site because of the way it is managed.It is also directly adjacent to a protected belt of trees.How can OUFC build a stadium and increase biodiversity on the site by 10%?
What is the ‘Triangle’ Proposal and how has it come about?
- In Dec 2021, Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) announced Oxford United Football Club (OUFC) wanted to take over Stratfield Brake Sports & the Triangle site for a new football stadium and commercial development.
- In Jan 2022, OCC’s Cabinet agreed to run an online-only ‘engagement exercise’ to ask the local community what they thought.
- The online survey was heavily dominated by OUFC fans: over 10% of respondents were from outside of Oxfordshire. The survey didn’t actually ask locals if they agreed with the principle of surrendering Green Belt land for commercial development in the first place.
- In the Council’s own words “Activity mainly focused on reaching residents and stakeholders in and around the Kidlington and Gosford and Water Eaton parishes”.Residents in North Oxford, some of whom are closer to Stratfield Brake than parts of Kidlington, were not encouraged to participate.
- OCC’s survey showed a majority of locals were AGAINST. A survey by Layla Moran MP also showed a majority of the local community are AGAINST.
- Despite this, in Mar 2022, OCC’s Cabinet approved negotiations to commence.
- Kidlington Parish Council (KPC) has remained neutral throughout.
- In Oct/Nov 2022 OUFC gave its long-awaited Stage 0 report to OCC.The report failed to address OCC’s strategic priorities or KPC’s questions.It also includes mention of 150 homes on Stratfield Brake.
- In Dec 2022, OCC suddenly announced OUFC couldn’t have Stratfield Brake as the rugby pitches couldn’t be relocated. OCC Officers proposed the Triangle site instead.
- The Triangle site was acquired by OCC in 1937 to maintain a green gap between Oxford and Kidlington. It is in Kidlington Parish, but KPC is only a consultee: it can’t stop OCC selling or leasing it to OUFC, and it can’t stop CDC from approving planning permission.
- The Triangle site’s current tenant, a local fencing company, manages it as a biodiverse willow coppice for its environmentally-sustainable fencing products.
- In Jan 23, OCC’s Cabinet approved heads of terms discussions with OUFC for the Triangle site WITHOUT any public consultation with locals. Instead the Council relied on the previous flawed engagement exercise on Stratfield Brake.There was no discussion at the meeting of relevant concerns such as traffic, parking and loss of green space.
- No information has been made publicly available to prove that OUFC are being displaced from their current, Kassam Stadium which is only around 25 years old.
- Oxford City Council assisted with the original creation of the Kassam Stadium, and registered it as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ in 2018. Despite this, they have remained completely silent regarding the Triangle Proposal.
- OUFC commissioned a site search report of other possible sites: it’s unclear why the Triangle is the only option on the table.
- The CEO of OUFC has recently stated that the ambition is to make OUFC financially secure, with the new stadium used all year round. There would be little if any parking at the site.
- Shockingly, OCC has failed to write directly to households in the immediate area about this Proposal which would significantly impact the area.
- Our elected representatives seem content to throw Kidlington and the surrounding area under a bus to bail out the Club.
KEEP THE GAP - STOP THE STADIUM
The stadium proposal comes hot on the heels of Cherwell District Council (CDC) permitting 4,400 new houses to be built on Green Belt around Kidlington in the next couple of years.