CPRE Cherwell calls for Oxford United Stadium public consultation

community football pitches

24th January 2023

Community football pitches at Stratfield Brake

CPRE Cherwell objects just as strongly to the proposals to build a new stadium on an alternative piece of Green Belt land as we did to the original plan to build at Stratfield Brake.  It seems that the labyrinthine process by which one proposal has been superseded by the other lacks adequate transparency to the stakeholders involved.

Apparently, according to Cllr. Miller, officers will be making a recommendation to councillors (Tuesday 24th January) in terms of whether to proceed with negotiations with Oxford United Football Club and that this will be as a result of the “exercise [which] collected views on both sites”.  It seems to CPRE that this has been a less than comprehensive assessment in light of the changed plans for the affected sites and we urge the Cabinet to consider carefully whether a wider exercise of consultation might not be appropriate ahead of time instead of leaving that opportunity to the planning process itself.

We think that the change of direction in the plan warrants further consideration and consultation so as to understand fully the various stakeholders’ views on the proposals as they stand.  This seems particularly appropriate given that Oxford United’s average crowd does not exceed 60% of its current stadium’s capacity.  It begs the question therefore as to whose benefit this proposal is for exactly.

Robin Oliver
Chair CPRE Cherwell