IT was the news they feared they might never hear.

But today at 9.30am on an overcast Tuesday morning residents of Hythe marina learned they had won a fiercely-fought battle to keep their peace and quiet intact.

The campaigners had almost given up hope that they would be able to stop the tranquillity-shattering development of a huge extension to Southampton's container port.

Overjoyed neighbours hugged one another in disbelief as they came to terms with what they had heard.

Among those celebrating was Sir Anthony Gill, former chairman of the Hythe Marina Association, who was one of the key campaigners to lead the charge against Associated British Ports' plans.

Sir Anthony said: "I am delighted as everybody is here, because for the port to go ahead would have been a disaster for our lives here.

"It would have completely changed what is normally a peaceful, quiet and happy existence on this marina.

"I am also delighted the decision appears to be based on the Secretary of State accepting the inspector's recommendations, which means the inspector backed us.

"This means this inquiry has worked to get across to the government the views of local people."