THE MP for the Cotswolds claims there is a "clear case" to consider the Cotswolds to become a National Park.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP recently visited the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) in Midhurst, West Sussex with Chairman Liz Eyre and director Martin Lane of the Cotswolds Conservation Board.

After the meeting, the MP said that the success of the National Park work in the South Downs shows that the Cotswolds should be considered to become a National Park.

Sir Geoffrey said: "Having gathered evidence on how well the National Park works in the South Downs, in my view there is a clear case for at least considering if the Cotswolds could be conserved and enhanced further by designating the area as a National Park by the Secretary of State."

The group met with Tim Slaney, director of planning, and had a discussion on how the SDNPA operates.

The SDNPA was created in 2011 and has remarkable similarities with the Cotswolds AONB. The Cotswolds is marginally bigger than the South Downs at just over 2,000 square kilometres.

They each have National Trail running from end-to-end and they both cover 15 local authorities.

The Cotswolds is in the early stages of any debate on the possibility of National Park status.

This will require extensive discussion and consultation with all interested authorities and people living in the Cotswolds, however Sir Geoffrey believes that this is a debate that should begin.

Director of the Cotswolds Conservative Board, Martin Lane said: "The visit to the South Downs was highly informative.

"It demonstrated how the Park Authority had introduced a new and successful planning arrangement, which worked for differing partners with differing needs, across the whole Park area.

"We agree with Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown that the time is right to explore whether a National Park for the Cotswolds would be good for local communities, the environment and the economy."