Oxford United: Kassam Stadium planning approach to council

Advice on possible residential development on land around the Kassam Stadium is being sought from Oxford City Council.

BBC Radio Oxford has learned builders Taylor Wimpey are looking to build around 250 houses or flats.

They would be sited primarily on an overflow car park behind the cinema close to the stadium.

Continue reading the main story

The only type of application we would support is one that would be beneficial to the football club

Mark Sennett Oxford United Supporters Group Ox Vox

Oxford City Council head of city development Michael Crofton-Briggs said: "This is very early days."

It is understood some residential property is being proposed for the corners of the stadium itself, which are currently vacant - but that planners will insist the possibility of a fourth stand being constructed to complete the stadium must not be compromised.

Crofton-Briggs said two areas of possible development had been identified: around the stadium itself, and on the overflow car park.

"The football stadium has to remain. It is about making better use of the car park areas. There will still need to be an adequate level of parking to meet the needs of users of the stadium and the leisure complex nearby."

Small-scale shops to serve the new housing would be included in the proposals, if they proceed.

Crofton-Briggs continued: "We would want to encourage the prospective developer to make contact with the local community, organisations, elected councillors and the general public, long before they make a formal application to us, so there can be come form of dialogue and engagement with local people and they get their chance to make their comments on the proposals that are emerging."

What is an Asset of Community Value (ACV) and how does a listing work?

  • A building, or other land, is an asset of community value if its main use is, or has recently been, to "further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community" and it could do so in the future
  • The request must come from a voluntary or community body with a local connection and relate to land in the local authority's area, or in the neighbouring local authority's area
  • The listing lasts for five years and also includes should the stadium be put up for sale, a 'right to bid', which can be lodged by the group concerned within a period of six weeks, with finance secured in a period of up to four-and-a-half months

Mark Sennett, chair of Oxford United supporters group Ox Vox, said supporters needed to know more details.

He said: "The only type of project we would support is one that would be beneficial to Oxford United football club."

Last year Ox Vox successfully applied for the stadium, which is owned by Firoka, a company controlled by former Oxford United owner Firoz Kassam, to be listed as an asset of community value.

This means the group must be notified if the ground is to be sold and will then have six months to put together their own bid for the stadium.

"This could trigger that [right], but it is very early stages, we have had positive conversations with the Council and the football club and this could be an opportunity.

"We look forward to talking to Taylor Wimpey and to having further conversations with Firoka to see if there is a way we can bring the football club and the stadium either back into club ownership or community ownership."