AREAS of outstanding natural beauty within the Cotswolds are being put at risk due to the district council’s lack of a Local Plan, according to House of Lords peer.

Lord Paul Tyler, who lives in the Cotswolds, made the remarks during a recent debate on what the government can do to ensure a swift delivery of a Local Plan from authorities.

He said: “Ministers in the Lords are clearly very concerned that authorities like Cotswold District Council are putting Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty at risk by dragging its heels on developing a Local Plan.

“It ought to be a wake-up call to those authorities still lagging behind that the government now has to consider changing the law, to help communities in these neglected council areas.”

Cotswold District Council has been heavily criticised in recent months for its failure to produce an up-to-date Local Plan, allowing developers to push heavy development on rural communities.

After hearing Lord Tyler’s comments, Cllr Lynden Stowe, leader of CDC, told the Standard that the Lib Dem peer “should keep his nose out of the Cotswolds”.

The debate also heard that around 75 per cent of all local authorities had published a Local Plan and that 52 per cent had put the plan into action.

CDC said that its Local Plan is set to be completed two years ahead of schedule due to “compressing several of the stages required by law into a single comprehensive Local Plan”.

A spokesman said: “If the council had continued developing a Core Strategy, it would only have provided a framework for future house building and economic development.”