A DISTRICT councillor has voiced his support for the controversial plans to create a 'heritage tourism' attraction at Elterwater Quarry.

South Lakeland District Councillor for Windemere Ben Berry has submitted a letter to the Lake District National Park Authority, saying that this type of development is vital for the Lake District to continue to thrive as a destination.

The application featured a 'cavern explorer' in which visitors could explore the quarry via overhead fixed safety lines and harnesses.

The proposal also included a 35-space car park and the use of a 'transport hub' at Brockhole, ferrying visitors to the site.

READ MORE: Proposal submitted for quarry attraction which drew thousands of objections

The plan, submitted by the Holker Group in January, has attracted more than 1,200 official objections as the deadline for submissions closed.

The application represented a significant scaling down from the initial proposal, released last year, which featured a 'cavern coaster' and 'Adventure tourism attraction'.

But objections have still flooded in about the impact that the attraction would have on the area if permitted.

The majority of objections focus on fears of the site being turned into a 'theme park' if permission was granted, and of the existing road network being insufficient for the increased visitor numbers.

READ MORE: Conservation group reacts to revised plans for controversial quarry attraction

Cllr Berry wrote: "Reading the leers of objection has been a joy.

"You will note, as I did, that most of these objections are from people who only visit and do not live here nor raise a family here.

"The Lake District National Park is for everyone.

"As a planning officer, I am sure you must get bored of the copy-and-paste talking points from a bulk mailer to activists.

"Many of the objectors gasp at the potential of traffic, yet the application is furnished with a significant traffic plan and no objection from our Local Authority Highways Department.

"Traffic within the National Park can be an issue at peak times, but these issues aren't in Elterwater, they are in Windermere, in Bowness, in Ambleside.

"The visitor economy of the National Park stands at a crossroads, with young people coming in smaller numbers.

"Without an activity to draw them, they will not otherwise come and fall in love with this wonderful place that you and I call home."

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) also supports the proposal, though has sought assurances about the potential impact of the development on farmland.