Potters Bar homes where crime is ‘designed out’

A NEW housing development in Potters Bar has been commended for its security features, which police say will reduce the risk of burglary.

A ‘Secured by Design’ certificate was awarded by Inspector Neil Morehen to Affinity Sutton Housing Association on Wednesday for Pelham Court, in Bowmans Close.

The development, which stands on the site of previously disused garages, has a number of features such as secure locks, but it was also praised for its “natural surveillance over the car parking, good lighting and defensive planting”.

Chrissy Barclay, crime prevention officer and architectural liaison officer for Hertsmere, worked closely with the architects prior to the planning application and throughout the process with all the other agencies involved.

She said of the development’s attention to security detail: “It can have a massive impact upon people’s feelings of safety and security in their home surroundings.”

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She added: “Although this is only a small development it has taken years of planning and partnership working to reach this point of completion and achievement of a certificate.

“Hertsmere has always set high standards within their planning department and I have worked with Tina Nyamaah, affordable housing co-ordinator, and her team to ensure that we aim to ensure that all social housing is considering Secured by Design early in the design process, so that we are building a safer future together.

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“The earlier an architect or developer approaches us the better, as we can discuss and ‘iron out’ some of the potential problems or opportunities for crime and disorder.”

Mrs Barclay said the message of Secured by Design is: “We aim to design out the opportunity for crime and design in a feeling of community safety.”

She added: “The builders often have to spend a bit extra to achieve this goal but we were all agreed that it is well worth every penny if it saves some of the heartache for residents in the future.

“I’m sure that the other residents also agree it is a big improvement on the rather run-down area that existed next to the flats in Bowmans Close before.”

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