A PLAN to turn the Malvern Hills into a huge national park will be a key policy for Labour in the upcoming county council elections, it has been revealed.

Labour group leader Cllr Robin Lunn said ensuring the long-held desire for Malvern Hills National Park became a reality was an important policy for the party in the upcoming elections and would bring more investment and tourism to the area in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic as well as boost Malvern's national profile.

“This is a really key improvement for Malvern and this would be a key policy under any Labour administration," he said.

Neil Morton, who will be standing for the Labour Party in Malvern's Langland division at the county council elections next month, said the Malvern Hills needed to be cherished and turning the area into a national park would bring a huge boost to the town.

"I am delighted that Labour has committed as a key policy the creation of a Malvern Hills National Park," he said.

"This would bring a huge boost to the local economy and tourist industry.

"Now more than ever we need to recognise and cherish the unique beauty of the hills and their surrounding area.

"Importantly, it would also give the council additional powers to halt the seemingly relentless march of developers towards the Malvern Hills and our green spaces."

Cllr Richard Udall, Labour's spokesman for communities and rural affairs, said the Malvern Hills was the jewel in Worcestershire's crown.

“National Parks have a long and glorious history dating back over seventy years, its about creating access to the countryside and preserving it for future generations; plus helping wildlife and caring for our environment," he added.

"Worcestershire has some really special places but the Malvern Hills are the jewel in our crown, they deserve special protection and some democratic control, we will be ending the dominance of the Malvern Hills Trust and putting power and responsibility over the hills into the hands of the many, not the few."

Earlier this year, Cllr Udall attacked the Malvern Hills Trust, which protects and manages the Malvern Hills, calling it a “cosy club” and called for a national park authority to replace it.

“We need a national park authority, which would be more accountable, more proactive and more responsive to the challenging and changing needs of area,” he said.