OXFORD United say it is a ‘key objective’ they are in control of a new stadium should their plans for Stratfield Brake materialise.

The club have sought to answer three key issues that have emerged since the proposal to build a new ground near Kidlington was announced on Monday.

Top of the list is who owns the site, with the U’s determined to avoid a repeat of their situation at the Kassam Stadium, where they are tenants to former chairman Firoz Kassam.

And United revealed they will seek to ensure they are wedded to the ground for the full 250-year lease at Stratfield Brake, if the plans progress.

A statement said: “The club and stakeholders are agreed that there will need to be legal protections put in place to ensure that the potential football stadium is controlled by the football club now and in the future.

“Subject to the final negotiations for the land, this is envisaged to be for the full 250 year lease term.

“Key objectives of the proposal made to the county council include:

· That the new football stadium will be an asset of Oxford United Football Club to support the future growth and future plans of the club, both on and off the pitch

· The new football stadium is to remain in control of the club and is not to be separated in the future

· Legal protections will be included to confirm that the football stadium will remain part of the club.”

United announced on Monday that they have made a formal proposal to landowner Oxfordshire County Council to lease Stratfield Brake.

The council’s cabinet will decide whether to approve the proposal on Tuesday, which would enable the club to enter into negotiations with the local authority before seeking planning permission.

But the ownership of any new stadium came into question thanks to an officers’ report published ahead of the meeting, which suggested the lease would be taken on by United's directors.

This raised concerns that the U’s could be vulnerable to a repeat of their situation at the Kassam Stadium.

Former chairman Firoz Kassam sold United but not the ground in 2006 and remains landlord at Grenoble Road, with United paying substantial rent to their former owner.

The club still have many hurdles to overcome, but initial plans for the site include an 18,000-capacity stadium, sports and community grounds and hotel, retail and conference facilities.

United also addressed an illustrative masterplan included in the report, which shows designs for an ice rink and conference facilities alongside the ground.

This has got fans excited, but the club stressed that it is far from final.

The statement continued: “It is important that fans understand that the plans that have been seen are only ‘indicative plans’ showing a concept of what could potentially be built on the site.

“These are not plans that would be submitted for planning.

“Subject to the county council agreeing to our proposal in principle, the plans to be progressed and ultimately submitted for planning are still to be developed.

“The aim is to develop a football stadium and fantastic facilities that serve the whole of Oxfordshire, but we are a long way from actually drawing up the plans to be submitted to planning.

“If initial approval is given, we also will not be developing our proposals in isolation, but will look to work in partnership with the relevant stakeholders and fans in developing the proposals for the stadium as well as the facilities that may sit alongside it.”

United also addressed the question of how quickly the stadium will be built, with the club’s lease at Grenoble Road set to expire in 2026.

The cabinet report includes a projected timeline, which suggests a planning application would need to be submitted by May 2023 and construction finished by May 2026.

The statement concluded: “For a project of this size and complexity, we are under no illusions that there will be a number of hurdles to overcome.

“As we said at the start, patience is key. Next week is the start of the process, and should the County Council give permission to proceed, we will look to move to the pre-planning consultation phase.

“We will consult and look to work closely with fans, local residents, businesses and sports clubs.

“The support we have received since the initial announcement is very humbling.

“At the moment the thing we ask for more than anything is patience.

“We will continue to provide updates and information on timescales as the plans progress.”