RESIDENTS are being blinded by the promise of shops, restaurants and a cinema in a £45million "pie in the sky" housing and leisure complex, it has been claimed.

The Harwich Valley development, planned for land between Main Road in Dovercourt and the A120, last week scaled back proposals for shops and food outlets while hiking up the number of homes and adding a second drive-thru.

Fewer cinema screens were also mooted by development bosses, who put out new leaflets to residents detailing the latest design.

But Dovercourt mum-of-two Deborah Ellis, said these first cuts could be just the start.

"Some people can't see beyond getting new shops and drive-thru restaurants.

"Who is going to come to Dovercourt to go to a restaurant from Clacton or Colchester?

"It's pie in the sky."

"I don't think people are realising even if the town could take the strain of the amount of people, there aren't 297 local people here that need housing."