Where thousands of homes could be built in Watford over the coming years has become much clearer after an official list of sites was published.

Senior councillors at Watford Borough Council will scrutinise an important planning document on Monday evening - a document which will shape the redevelopment of Watford until 2036.

The document is Watford's local plan - currently in the draft process - which will outline which areas of the town are suitable for new housing to help meet growing housing targets set by central government.

The Observer ran a story last year listing dozens of potential sites that had been put forward for redevelopment - the completion and publication of the draft local plan is now the clearest indication yet of which sites in Watford planning officers have deemed suitable for building on.

Scroll down for a full list of 61 sites in the draft local plan

Three core areas of Watford primed for redevelopment

Watford, one of the smallest and most densely populated boroughs in the country, will have around 800 homes added a year over the next 15 years or so, if the government gets its way - the draft plan could deliver more than 14,000 new homes if every site is taken forward.

Watford mayor Peter Taylor has continously described the town's targets as "unrealistic", but the council is legally bound to draw up a local plan citing where it deems development to be suitable.

Watford Gateway

The first of three major areas in Watford which will bear the brunt of new developments is Watford Junction.

The draft local plan suggests the area around the station, called 'Watford Gateway' in the plan, could accommodate 2,718 new homes - which includes the 1,214 which have already received permission on the site of The Range in St Albans Road.

Watford Observer:

A view of the approved St Albans Road scheme from Watford Junction

Watford Junction, which has recently seen improvements to its forecourt, would also see some regeneration with a new transport hub for buses, taxis, rail, bikes, and pedestrians, and a new ticket hall, as well as a passenger bridge across the Abbey Line, along with a multi-storey car park east of the Abbey Line.

There would need to be a new primary school and a major healthcare facility and new employment space, alongside homes, east of the station.

Watford Observer:

New seating outside Watford Junction, spelling out 'Watford'

Town Centre

Town centre redevelopment would see the creation of 546 new homes, mostly focused in Albert Road South off The Parade.

The existing town centre Sainsbury's site is mooted as a potential space for 220 homes, while any changes would coincide with the council's aspirations to create a cultural quarter at the top of town near the current town hall.

Colne Valley

The Colne Valley Strategic Development Area is anticipated to include 4,361 new homes.

It encompasses the out-of-town retail area, hospital, stadium,and Bushey Arches, and is connected by the River Colne flowing through the area.

Of these 4,000 plus homes, 1,383 form part of the Riverwell scheme, next door to Watford General Hospital and behind Watford FC's stadium.

Watford Observer:

View of the Riverwell masterplan which includes 1,000 plus home, retirement village, primary school

But the Colne Valley area also takes into account a number of retail parks, including Waterfields and Colne Valley.

One of the areas in the Colne Valley area is the Tesco Extra site - this does not necessarily mean Tesco would be built over but land surrounding the supermarket has been deemed appropriate for redevelopment.

Watford Observer:

What else is in the draft local plan?

Some other major sites are included such as land at Asda by the Dome roundabout, Mothercare's former headquarters in Cherry Tree Road, and Ascot Road in the west of the town, which is already undergoing mass redevelopment.

A list of new sites for employment are also listed, with some sites being a mixture of homes and offices or industrial space.

See all 61 sites listed in the draft local plan below

What else does Watford's local plan consider - and does this mean development is definite ?

The council wants so safeguard any land which could form part of a mass rapid transport route connecting West Watford with the town centre - formerly this would have been the Met Line extension.

If a site has not been listed in the draft local plan, it does not mean it is not under threat in the future.

Likewise, just because a site has been listed, it does not mean it will definitely been built on - circumstances can change and developers must still design appropriate schemes with the necessary infrastructure.

What's the next stage?

Watford's Cabinet will consider the draft local plan, and it will go out to public consultation in early 2021.

The council intends to submit the local plan to the Secretary of State in the summer.

See further details of the draft local plan here.