OXVOX chair Paul Peros is encouraged by a ‘great first step’ in Oxford United’s search for a new stadium.

A leaked letter revealed the club’s plans to leave the Kassam Stadium and build a new 18,000-capacity ground at Stratfield Brake Sports Ground, Kidlington.

The document outlines a formal proposal from United to Oxfordshire County Council to secure a 250-year lease for the site.

It will be discussed by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, January 18. If approved, the U’s can begin to seek planning permission from planning authority Cherwell District Council.

More details are expected to be announced later today.

The process is at a very early stage, but Peros, chair of independent supporters’ trust OxVox, hailed promising news.

He said: “We’re really excited that it’s reached the point that it can be announced to fans and the local community.

“We’ve been in discussions with the club about this project for a long time, so it’s great to be able to reveal it.

“We understand completely the need for confidentiality up to now, but now we can start the conversation and we’re on that path.”

Time is of the essence for United, whose 25-year lease at the Kassam Stadium expires in 2026.

The U's pay substantial rent to landlord Firoka, owned by former chairman Firoz Kassam, and only last year secured public catering rights to ensure they pocket some of the food and drink revenue.

Peros added: “On big sites like this it’s a great first step, but it’s just that.

“It’s put us on a path that we’ve not been on since we arrived at the Kassam Stadium.

"We've been in a constant dialogue with the club to ensure the stadium and the club remain wedded and we don't end up in the situation we are now, and we hope encouraging talks move forward.

“There’s a massive amount of work to do and we’re urging supporters to get involved.”

Stratfield Brake borders the southern edge of Kidlington and is a short walk from Oxford Parkway rail station and park and ride.

The site is currently used by several community sports clubs, including Gosford All Blacks RFC and Kidlington Cricket Club, and initial plans include not only the stadium but improved facilities for existing stakeholders.

Peros added: “I can only see this being a good thing for the village – this is a community hub, rather than a football ground.

“It can be a jewel for Oxfordshire.

“We’re in an internationally-renowned city and the best we can offer is a three-sided stadium.”