THE chair of Oxford United’s supporters’ trust says fans can make a difference in a crucial month for the club’s stadium plans.

A four-week consultation on the U’s proposal to lease land at Stratfield Brake, near Kidlington, begins on Tuesday.

This will allow the community to have its say on United’s plans for the site, which include an 18,000-capacity stadium, community and sports grounds and hotel, retail and conference facilities.

It comes after Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet this week chose to defer a decision until March 15, despite officers recommending they approve the proposal for the U’s to enter into negotiations.

It was a setback, but Paul Peros, chair of independent supporters’ trust OxVox, believes it is an opportunity for fans to make their case.

He said: “I understand why fans are frustrated, but it’s important we rally together.

“We’re looking to speak to people in Kidlington and engage positively with the local community.

“It’s up to us as fans to show what a good development this is, for the county and for Kidlington.”

United fans have got behind the plans so far, with almost 4,000 signatures in less than week on OxVox’s petition supporting the proposal.

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The trust will be outside the South Stand before Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with Sheffield Wednesday at the Kassam Stadium so people can add their name in person.

Peros added: “We feel it’s a good stepping stone, but we really want to push on to get to a wider audience.

“On Saturday, we’re hoping to push it past 5,000 so we can show the council how many people support this.

“We’re aiming for 10,000 at the game, so can we get the petition up to this number too?”

Following Tuesday’s meeting, OxVox swiftly reminded fellow fans to make their arguments sensibly.

Read also: OxVox launches petition for stadium at Stratfield Brake

The organisation said: “Please remember that people can keep tweets, messages and comments as evidence and reasoning to object to the authorities that matter.”

It followed a fierce reaction to the views of one speaker, John Hill, who claimed United ‘don’t have the people, the finances or the skillset to bring this to a conclusion’.

Hill also said the U’s could groundshare if they are left homeless when their lease at the Kassam Stadium runs out in 2026, citing the example of Coventry City.

The Sky Blues used Northampton Town’s Sixfields stadium in 2013/14 and St Andrew’s, Birmingham City’s home, for two seasons from 2019.

Peros revealed OxVox has contacted the club’s supporters’ trust to get its thoughts on this comment.

The consultation runs from January 25 until February 21 on the council’s engagement platform and Peros encouraged supporters to get involved.

He said: “Anybody who feels like engaging with the councillors and the consulation page, please make it about your own experience and make it polite and positive.

“We’re talking to the council directly and putting across the views of our members and fans.

“As a group, we’ll be putting out some headline points to include.”