OXFORD United have confirmed Stratfield Brake as their preferred site for a new stadium.

The U’s announced this afternoon that they have made a formal proposal to landowner Oxfordshire County Council regarding the sports ground, south of Kidlington.

United have asked the council to lease part of Stratfield Brake for 250 years, with a view to building an 18,000-capacity stadium, training and community sports grounds and hotel, retail and conference facilities.

Council officers have recommended that cabinet members give approval for officers to enter negotiations with the club at their meeting on Tuesday, January 18.

If a deal is agreed, United will then be able to submit a planning application to planning authority Cherwell District Council.

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A club statement read: "Oxford United are excited at the prospect of securing a new stadium that protects the club’s 129-year history, delivers significant community benefits, and upholds a valued community asset."

United have looked at several potential sites for a long-term home, with their licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium set to expire in 2026.

It has taken four years of work behind the scenes to reach this point with Stratfield Brake and managing director Niall McWilliams explained why it is the preferred location.

He said: “We’d done a lot of research on other sites and this one is the best in terms of accessibility.

“It’s really important to emphasise this is not about football, it’s about bringing international-class facilities to Oxfordshire.

“We’re really proud to represent Oxfordshire and this is trying to ensure we give something back.”

He added: “We have to make it abundantly clear this is just the start of the conversation.

“We now know that Oxford United have put in a proposal to Oxfordshire County Council to work in partnership in relation to Stratfield Brake.

“We just have to wait for the decision to be made and the detail to come out.”

Stratfield Brake can be found off Frieze Way, close to the A34, and is a short walk from Oxford Parkway rail station and park & ride.

The accessible location makes it more environmentally-friendly than the Kassam Stadium, something prospective U’s owner Anindya Bakrie spoke about in November.

Herald Series:

Stratfield Brake Picture: Google Maps

United want 18 hectares (44.48 acres) of the site and can enter into negotiations with the council if cabinet members approve the proposal next Tuesday.

The club say the stadium ‘would provide the facilities and capacity to meet the club’s future on-pitch ambitions and provide an unrivalled matchday experience’.

The proposals also include 'exciting' fan and community facilities, which are anticipated to provide hundreds of jobs.

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Initial plans include ‘new and improved’ facilities for teams who already use Stratfield Brake, including Gosford All Blacks rugby club and Kidlington Cricket Club, and these have already been contacted by the council to share their thoughts.

The site is on green belt land and United have warned it will not be a ‘short-term process’, with the club pledging to conduct ‘wide reaching and inclusive consultation with local residents, stakeholders and the community’.

McWilliams added: “First and foremost we’ll be talking to the local community, the residents of Kidlington. I think that’s uppermost in our minds.

“We’ll be talking to our fanbase, all of the stakeholders that are at Stratfield Brake, we’ll have to liaise very closely with Sport England, the RFU (Rugby Football Union) and the ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board).

“I’m sure there’ll be many conversations to be had with the local councillors and parish councillors.

“Should it be approved, that’s when the communications plan will kick-off in earnest.

“Our main priority is to talk to the people of Kidlington and the supporters of Oxford United.”

He added: “Should this proceed, we will make sure all facilities will be open to the whole community. There will be jobs there and it’ll be an exciting development.”