HUNDREDS of residents have signed a petition backing a major new retail and leisure complex.

Joan Cooper of Minerva Close in Dovercourt set up the petition to call for support for the Harwich Valley development mooted for land between Stour Close in Dovercourt and the A120.

If built, it would include 250 homes, warehouses, shops, cafes and restaurants including a drive-thru, as well as a multiplex cinema, a 63-bed hotel and a pub.

The 73-year-old said: “It’s to say yes to a better future for our youngsters.

“We need something done in Harwich, this is the thing to get it going, to bring Harwich into the 21st century."