CAMPAIGNERS are continuing to fight for the preservation of a beloved Bicester sports ground.

More than 3,500 people have now signed a petition calling for the new owners of Oxford Road Sports Ground, Value Retail, to keep sport at the site.

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Bicester Sports Association (BSA) sold the site to Value Retail - which also owns Bicester Village - in 2018, and the grounds were vacated on May 31.

Residents say they do not want the site to be developed for anything other than sport amid fears that it will be turned into a further expansion of the designer outlet.

Two protests have been held at the grounds and on Friday, campaign group Save Oxford Road ran a stall at the market on Sheep Street allowing people to sign a paper version of its petition

Organiser and campaigner Calum Vinall said: "We engaged with residents and explained the importance of keeping Oxford Road as a sports ground for the people of Bicester. We were overwhelmed by the sympathy and interest, demonstrated by securing over 250 signatures.

"All the comments and feedback received was without exception in support for getting sport back to Oxford Road so it can be enjoyed by the community again. We would like to thank everyone who stopped, engaged with us and signed the petition.

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"We are also grateful to Bicester Market Place for giving us the pitch."

Combined with their online petition, this takes signatures in support of the campaign to more than 3,500.

Mr Vinall added: "This is a huge number considering the population of Bicester, and confirms this as one of the leading issues for residents.

"We hope this goes to demonstrate to Bicester Village the strength of feeling amongst the residents of Bicester, that we want Oxford Road back for the community to enjoy sport now and for the generations to come. We do not want to lose more green space around our town.

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"We have a significant groundswell of support on the part of our elected councillors, and we are also calling on our MP to stand with us in this fight for local sport in our town."

Value Retail is yet to reveal what it plans to do with the site.

To sign the petition, go to