Around 6,000 homes look set to be built on green belt land after a council backed proposals for a huge housing development.

The Bowmans Cross development near junction 22 for the M25 could see as many as 14,000 people living there if the plans go ahead.

Hertsmere Borough Council has taken the opportunity to include a huge piece of land on the edge of its borough in its draft local plan, which will help meet housing targets of around 12,000 over the next 15 years or so.

The land off Coursers Road falls within Hertsmere but its closest settlements are London Colney and Colney Heath which are both in the St Albans district.

Council planning documents anticipate Bowmans Cross will have 6,000 homes once complete, along with a range of supporting services including at least four primary schools, at least one secondary school, and a healthcare facility.

The development would also include offices, leisure and cultural facilities, shops, and restaurants, and a sustainable transport hub.

Around 2,400 homes are scheduled to be built over this local plan period, which runs up to 2038, with the rest likely to be completed in the following 15 years.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Circled is the main part of land earmarked for Bowmans Cross. The land does also stretch further west towards Colney Heath and east towards South Mimms. Credit: Google MapsCircled is the main part of land earmarked for Bowmans Cross. The land does also stretch further west towards Colney Heath and east towards South Mimms. Credit: Google Maps

The council says new homes would be a mix of sizes, tenures, and types, with 40 per cent delivered as affordable housing, of which a "majority" will be social or affordable rented housing, in addition to a quarter of the affordable homes being discounted for first time buyers.

More than 16 per cent of the homes being delivered should be specialist accommodation including supported and extra care housing for older people, documents add.

Bowmans Cross is the largest development included in the council's draft local plan, which is set to go out to public consultation for six weeks in October.

A total of 52 sites comprising of 14 strategic sites and 39 smaller housing sites (12,160 homes in total) have been identified across Hertsmere for residential development up until 2038.

The council has rejected a host of other sites put forward by developers and landowners, with the sites selected deemed most suitable by council planning officers to redevelop.

All 52 housing sites included in the plan are still subject to full planning applications and permission from the council.

Related: Hertsmere development sites revealed in draft local plan

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Light blue indicates the sites that have been selected in the Hertsmere draft local plan. The northern light blue site is Bowmans Cross. Credit: Hertsmere Borough CouncilLight blue indicates the sites that have been selected in the Hertsmere draft local plan. The northern light blue site is Bowmans Cross. Credit: Hertsmere Borough Council

Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, Cllr Morris Bright, said: "Hertsmere is a fantastic place to live which we should rightly be proud of, but this popularity does cause pressures for homes and services.

"By planning for growth locally we can ensure that we deliver the homes we need alongside the jobs, infrastructure and services to support this growth.

"Without an up-to-date plan, development can be taken out of local hands and it could mean less money for delivering the facilities and services our residents want and need."

The council's portfolio holder for planning, Cllr Harvey Cohen, added: "Eighty per cent of our borough is currently green belt but not all of that is high quality, unspoilt countryside and a lot of it is not accessible to the public. By planning for growth locally we will maximise opportunities to create more public open space for residents.

"Preparing a local plan is a complex process, and we still have some way to go, but it’s what our borough needs; planning for growth in a way that enhances what is special about Hertsmere, keeping it distinctive, connected, and creative, while ensuring that we remain a green, healthy and happy borough."