MORE than 100 Bicester residents gathered at Oxford Road sports ground in protest of any future development not related to sport at the site.

Bicester clubs have less than a month to leave the facility which has been the home of recreation in the town for decades.

It comes after Bicester Sports Association (BSA) sold the site to Bicester Village owners Value Retail in 2018 and the grounds must be vacated no later than May 31.

Value Retail is yet to reveal what it plans to do with the site, but residents say they do not want it to be developed for anything other than sport.

People gathered in protest on Sunday and Bicester resident Callum Vinall, who organised the event, said: “We had a fantastic show of support by the residents of Bicester for our beloved Oxford Road Sports Facility. Despite the pressures of lockdown, over 100 residents attended, spanning three generations.

“All were united in the desire to keep Oxford Road for sport and for the community.

“There is a huge strength of feeling amongst local people that Oxford Road is an important sports facility that is becoming more and more important as the number of people playing sports in Bicester continues to grow.

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“Oxford Road is a perfect location for residents to walk to the facilities to exercise, practise, play or just watch their local team with their friends.”

More than 3,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the site to be reserved for sport and Mr Vinall is asking people to contact Cherwell District Council’s planning department expressing how much they want the grounds to be reserved for future generations as green space.

Bicester resident Thomas Dodsworth, who created a drone video of the Oxford Road site which he shared on Facebook, says it is a shame to see the sports ground go.

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He said: “I played for Bicester Town FC for four years and it was where I met friends for life and what I looked forward to doing on the weekends. It’s such a shame that the site is not going to be there along with most of Bicester high street.”

To sign the petition, go to

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