RELIEVED residents are celebrating after plans to clean up an eyesore patch of land and build 38 homes were given the all-clear.

The site, next to the A120 and Lidl super market, is easily visible to tourists and visitors fresh off the ferries at Harwich Inter national Port.

Residents in the nearby Williamsburg Avenue have long called for action on the derelict land, saying litter and “unattractive” boarding gave a bad impression of the town.

The 38 homes will be built as part of a larger Gateway development, which saw work to construct 219 homes begin in 2007.

Work has since ground to a halt, but Tendring Council has renewed the lapsed planning permission and construction is now expected to start in the near future.

Valerie Sharpe, of Williamsburg Avenue, Dovercourt, has welcomed the news, with residents keen to see the site put into use.

She said: “I am very happy to hear work is due to finally start.

“We have been fighting for two years to see some action.

“Most of the neighbours have been told and everybody is happy.

“It was never nice to see the site untidy, the boarding in particular has been a problem.

It was getting blown down all the time and having to be put back up.

“Let’s get the houses and shops built and finally get the site sorted out.”

Many of the planned properties for much of the former Iconfield site have already been constructed by Orion Land and Leisure.

Now the company wants to proceed on the last parcel of land with two and three-bedroom houses in detached, semi-detached and terrace form along with parking, paths, drives and landscaping.

A council spokesman said: “The current proposal is virtually the same as the one approved in 2011 and nothing has changed substantially.

“If planning permission had not been allowed to lapse a similar development would have no doubt been constructed by now. ”

Harwich Town Council made no objection to the application, but raised concerns over the lack of infrastructure to support the houses and others being built in the area.