THE MP for the Cotswolds wants to meet with the newly appointed chairman of the review of National Parks.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is strongly in support of the idea of turning the Cotswolds into a National Park.

Sir Geoffrey intends to work with Julian Glover, the new chairman of the review of National Parks.

He also wants to discuss the idea of the Cotswolds becoming a national park with him and his 16 parliamentary colleagues who cover the AONB to call for a debate on this issue.

Mr Glover will lead a national review to explore how our National Parks’ system can be improved and to assess whether there is scope for an expansion of this system.

Sir Geoffrey has worked closely with the Cotswolds AONB board chairman and director, Liz Eyre and Martin Lane, to promote the idea of the region as a National Park.

The AONB receives 23 million visitors a year, the third largest of any protected landscape and the same purposes, duty and governance structure as a National Park.

Sir Geoffrey, Mrs Eyre and Mr Lane visited the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) earlier this year to gather evidence and to witness the parallels between the SDNPA and the Cotswolds AONB; both are about 2000 square km, have a major highway and National Trail running from end-to-end and are covered by 15 local authorities.

The MP also recently met with local farmers to discuss National Park status for the Cotswolds.

However, Cotswold District Council has outlined concerns about housing if the region did become a National Park.

Members of Cotswold District Council did agree to carry out an evaluation of the potential benefits and disadvantages of designating the Cotswolds as a National Park.

The motion - which was proposed by Liberal Democrat group leader councillor Joe Harris and seconded by CDC cabinet member for housing, health and leisure Cllr Stephen Hirst - was given unanimous support.

Following the vote Cllr Harris said: “We know that local MPs have generated interest in this issue and it is important that we now gain a full understanding of all of the issues involved in designating a new National Park area.

"While it is clear that there are benefits for the tourism sector, we are concerned about the possible impact on future affordable housing provision, and local responsibility for planning matters.

"Setting up this evaluation with other affected authorities means that we should be well placed to respond to any possible consultation process and – hopefully – it will provide us with a significant body of evidence to inform our views.”