Arbory and Rushen Commissioners are calling for areas of natural beauty on the Island to be designated as national parks.

The local authority, who is responding to a consultation on the Isle of Man Strategic Plan Review, is urging its residents to have their say.

It says that national park status should be given to upland areas and glens which could be classed as ‘national assets’ to the environment and the economy.

The commissioners add they would like to see a ‘policy basis’ which could safeguard a national park and also recognise them as a benefit to tourism.

It was also hoped that the government would acknowledge that this status could contribute to renewable energy targets.

Chair of Arbory and Rushen commissioners, Stan Pilling, says the board will be submitting its recommendations to the consultation and hopes residents will do the same. 

He says: 'The consultation on the Isle of Man Strategic Plan Review provides a great opportunity for national policy to promote the way in which our planning system can help protect our biodiverse, scenically rich landscapes.

'Creating new national park status for our cherished uplands and glens as national assets for the Isle of Man would, we believe, be popular with Manx residents and tourists alike.

'National park status could help government deliver on tourism, affordable housing, appropriately scaled renewable energy and better connectivity, at the same time as safeguarding and enhancing the landscape and habitats people enjoy so much.

'We welcome the opportunity presented by the Isle of Man Government’s review and will be submitting positive suggestions to develop solutions to the key conservation and rural development challenges that good planning systems can help to address.

'The commissioners are urging everyone to provide feedback to the consultation which is available through the Isle of Man Government consultation hub and the Cabinet Office planning team.

'Whether you support the commissioner’s views or not, make sure you get your views submitted in time – your opinion will help shape the future.'