An MP says he is disappointed an application to turn a set of playing fields into a town green has been rejected - but hopes they may yet be saved,

Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, made the comment after Harrow Borough Council’s licensing panel refused an application to make the Whitchuch Playing Fields, in Wemborough Road, Stanmore, a town green.

He said: “While this decision is hardly a surprise, given the previous recommendation to reject the application by the planning inspector, this rejection is still comes as a disappointment.

“Making the fields into a town or village green would have solved the ongoing dilemma of what to do with the fields, while protecting the interest of local residents and the wider community.

Mr Blackman said he met Minister of State for Schools David Laws MP after it was discovered earlier this year that the fields are registered as school playing fields.

In order for the status of the fields to change and any sort of development to be given the go ahead, approval must first be sought from the minister.

Mr Blackman said: “I am confident that Mr Laws will deploy his considerable judgement and wisdom in ensuring that the fields remain for the use of the school and the community, and not to be exploited by a consortium with no link to the area and even less interest in the concerns of hard working residents.”

Harrow Borough Council announced earlier today it was talking to Education Funding Agency about future of the site.