Plans to sell off and relocate a controversial kickabout area in Oxford have been shelved.

Over a year ago, members of Oxford City Council’s Cowley area committee agreed to close the site in Crescent Road, sell the land and relocate the facility to another location.

But now the council has decided it would not be in its best interests to sell the land.

Ben Mumby-Croft, 33, lives directly opposite the area and has been campaigning for its closure for about three years — with balls constantly hitting his property and damaging doors, windows and guttering.

He said: “We are right back where we started, and I am really at a loss to know what to do.

“It seemed like we were getting somewhere at the back end of last year, but we are now right back to square one.”

Mr Mumby-Croft, who lives with his partner, Juliet, and 16-month-old daughter Lily, has submitted two Freedom of Information Act requests to the council in a bid to find out what was happening with the site.

He was told in October that, since October 2007 when it was agreed to close the area, no formal meetings had taken place, no valuation had been obtained and no potential buyers identified.

He said: “If nothing is done about it, we will have to re-evaluate whether we stay in the area long-term – and will probably look at moving much sooner than we would otherwise have done.”

He said even if the council could not currently sell the site, it should be closed to minimise the damage being caused to his and neighbours’ homes.

The council has now revealed that a valuation of the site had been carried out — but would not give any further details.

Council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “Discussions have taken place about the possible replacement facility, and a valuation for the site was obtained earlier this year.

“However, in general, none of these matters has progressed to an advanced stage.

"At this time it is thought not to be in the best interest of the council to sell the land because of the present condition of the property market and finding a replacement site is still some way off.”

A report considering the relocation or disposal of the site will be discussed by the council’s decision-making executive in the new year.

Ms Dean said the report would look at the council’s disposal programme and discuss whether the Crescent Road area should be included in the programme of work.