“This development really does show what can be achieved by working together"

A development of eight homes in a small village nestling on the edge of Dartmoor in the West Country has won the Secured by Design (SBD) Small Development Award 2020.

Designing Out Crime Officer Rick Napier, of Devon and Cornwall Police, ensured SBD crime prevention measures and techniques were implemented at the outset of this development which went on to achieve not only an SBD Silver Award but also a Best Rural Development Award.

Rick was presented with his SBD Small Development Award (under 10 properties) by Stephen Watson QPM, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Crime Prevention, and Helen Ball, Assistant Commissioner (Professionalism), Metropolitan Police at SBD’s ATLAS national training event for Designing Out Crime Officers.

DSC 3938 Rick Napier WEB

The ‘High Shippon’ development of eight flats and houses of different sizes was the result of a partnership between rural housing developer, Hastoe Housing Association, and the Cheriton Bishop Community Land Trust (CLT) after a need for affordable, local housing had been identified in the village of Cheriton Bishop on the outskirts of Exeter.

Police were involved in meetings and discussions with Hastoe, the CLT, architects, planning and highways officials and the contractors from the start to ensure that SBD crime prevention measures and techniques were considered.

Initial proposals included a parking court and on-street parking for the homes along with visitor spaces. Following discussions, the layout was amended and parking provision for all homes moved onto respective plots. Advice also ensured boundary treatments were enhanced with defensive planting where appropriate.

As a result of positive and pro-active discussions throughout, no difficulties were encountered during the application process.

High Shippon

Completion of the homes was celebrated in September 2019 when local residents and councillors were joined by David Fursdon, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Devon. All the homes were provided on an affordable rent basis and prioritised for those with a local connection to Cheriton Bishop.

A few months later the homes went on to win Best Rural Development in the Rural Housing Awards which celebrate excellence and commitment in delivering affordable housing to rural communities in Devon. The Devon Rural Housing Partnership, which organised the awards, reported that the judges found this development to be attractive with a great sense of space and high standard of sustainability.

A review of crime and incident figures has found that there have been no reports of burglary, vehicle crime, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour on the site for the 12-months following receiving the Silver Award in November 2018 compared to 11 incidents recorded for the same period for Cheriton Bishop as a whole.

The SBD nomination form for this Small Development Award stated: “The adoption of SBD design principles and accredited products has helped support and enable this small scale rural development to meet the local needs for safe, secure and sustainable housing and contribute towards a sustainable social balance in the village.

“This in turn will help maintain local amenities and contribute towards Mid-Devon Council’s commitment and long term vision to providing affordable housing which will enable local people to remain within their area and help reduce demand on police resources.”

On receiving his award Rick commented: “I feel very honoured and proud to have received this award. This award shows what can be achieved by police working in partnership with other organisations to deter and reduce crime and help build safer and stronger communities. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners to achieve more developments to the same high standard.”

SBD Development Officer, Emma Snow, said: “'Having worked in Devon and Cornwall, I know it can be difficult to persuade developers to apply for an SBD Developers Award in more rural areas where crime is particularly low. There can be a misconception that good crime prevention is unsightly incorporating high, imposing fences for example, making homes appear less welcoming.

“This development really does show what can be achieved by working together with developers and architects to achieve a secure environment, which fits in with the existing homes and where residents feel safe,” explained Emma.