Oxford Green Belt Could Turn Yellow
8th February 2022
Is a football stadium an appropriate Green Belt development?
Oxford United FC, the Yellows, want to build an 18,000-capacity football stadium and commercial complex on 44 acres in the Oxford Green Belt at Stratfield Brake. Oxfordshire County Council, who own the land, has been asked to transfer it to Oxford United under a 250-year lease.
CPRE Oxfordshire is concerned that the Oxford Green Belt, despite its special ‘protected’ planning status is being lost piece by piece as development, and financial, opportunities present themselves.
CPRE Oxfordshire would urge Oxfordshire County Council to fully consider the impact of removing blocks of the Green Belt and to be clear how the benefits of developing on this particular site not only outweigh other options, including supporting the renovation and improvements to the existing stadium, but also outweigh the many negatives.
Kidlington is already facing large scale housing and development on former Green Belt sites, as the map above shows. Stratfield Brake is one of the last remaining green spaces between Kidlington and Oxford, it’s difficult to see how building on this patch of Green Belt helps maintain a ‘green barrier’ or encourages access to nature.
It would appear that facilities for local sports groups are likely to be relocated, albeit at Oxford United’s ongoing expense.
The cumulative impacts on the area would be huge, local residents and the environment would suffer as a result: the scale of development is completely out of keeping with the area: the sheer size of the stadium will dominate the area and residents will have to contend with the associated noise, light pollution and parking issues.
The plan clearly doesn’t support the councils net zero carbon emissions ambition. It is not sustainable to demolish an existing stadium and replace it with another.
Have Your Say
Oxfordshire County Council wants your views on whether the football clubs’ proposals meet their six negotiating objectives:
- Maintain a green barrier between Oxford and Kidlington. Improve access to nature and green spaces
- enhance facilities for local sports groups and on-going financial support
- significantly improve 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 and rail use
- develop local employment opportunities in Oxfordshire
- increase education and innovation through the provision of a sports centre of excellence and facilities linked to elite sport, community sport, health and wellbeing
- support net zero carbon emissions through highly sustainable development.
Public consultation closes on 22nd February. Visit the Oxfordshire County Council website to respond via an online survey.
Kidlington Development Watch’s fight to preserve the Green Belt continues. They have produced a leaflet to help respond to the latest threat. Download the leaflet below and visit their website for more details.