The first occupants of a proposed 200-home housing estate could be in place within a year.
Bellway Homes unveiled its proposals for the former Betts factory site, off Ipswich Road, Colchester, at a public consultation on Wednesday.
But concerned residents fear existing roads and schools in the area will be unable to cope with the influx of people.
Steve Read, Bellway planning and development manager, said: "We are looking to make a formal planning application in the next couple of weeks."
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