STATUS which could boost tourism for Manningtree and Mistley could still be two years away.

Campaigners are calling for the bank of the River Stour to be declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The northern bank of the river, in Suffolk, already has the prestigious designation.

In December Natural England announced a review into extending the AONB boundary to cover the south side.

But at a meeting of Mistley Parish Council on Tuesday it was revealed the status could still take another year to two years.

Councillors Ian Rose and Richard Horlock attended a meeting of the Stour and Orwell Forum where they were updated on the scheme’s progress.

Mr Rose said: “What came out of it is the process is very, very slow.

“We don’t have very much hope of a quick solution at all."

Natural England has a discretionary power to designate AONBs or to vary the boundary of an existing AONB by a variation order.