URBAN communities may be missing out on having their land protected for recreational use, it has been claimed.

At an executive meeting of Wrexham council, members discussed the Owain Glyndwr Scoring Criteria 2010, a scheme to protect land for recreational use.

Altogether nine sites across the borough, including Johnstown, Marchwiel, Worthenbury and Minera, are protected under the scheme.

But a report to the meeting noted that “urban communities with large amounts of public open space will struggle to reach the shortlist of nominated sites”.

Those areas missing out include Acton, Offa, Gwersyllt and Caia Park, which have larger areas of open space.

The report states that this is due to the 2005 public open space survey scoring criteria which favour areas with the lowest amount of public open space.

At the meeting council deputy leader Cllr Bob Dutton said: “There is concern that urban communities are not being looked at.”

Cllr Mark Pritchard, the lead member for environment and transport, said: “It’s a fantastic scheme for Wrexham and will protect the perpetuity of nine sites. We will be looking to put more areas forward.

“Years ago we were selling public open spaces but now we’re preserving them and long may it continue.”

There are between 12 and 14 nominations received each year for sites to be protected, but only three can be dedicated each year due to the time it takes to follow through the legal process.

Councillors voted to continue with the present system to favour the areas with the least open space.