PLANS for holiday house boats on Grasmere have been sunk.

Campaigners opposed to the plans said they were 'elated' but still faced 'a big fight ahead' after Lowther Estates confirmed they had withdrawn their controversial application.

Joe Nichols, from the Houseboats-Off-Grasmere campaign group, said: “This is positive news but there is still a long battle ahead. The Lake District doesn’t need development - it needs protection.”

South Lakes MP Tim Farron, who had joined a mass protest against the plans, said: “This is a massive win for community campaigning.

“The decision to drop these completely inappropriate plans would not have happened if it hadn’t been for the tireless campaigning of local people, particularly Andy Astle.

“Despite this great news we must not take our eye off the ball.

"The estate may well try again at some point in the future, so we need to continue to send out a loud and clear message that people in Grasmere and across our area say no to these plans.

“I look forward to joining campaigners on ‘The Big Day Out’ on February 1.”

A Lowther Estate Trust spokesman said: “Clearly the application for recreational craft on Grasmere has caused considerable concern.

"The Estate is a responsible landowner within the Lake District.

"They have therefore listened to these concerns and withdrawn the application.

“The Estate look forward to continuing working with the local community on ways to improve access and the diversity of use on Grasmere.”