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Homes showcase in Northampton is one of longest running developments supported by Secured by Design

Created as a showcase development on the outskirts of Northampton, the ‘urban extension’ of Upton is one of the country’s longest running new build projects to have crime prevention techniques included to standards set by Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative.


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The development of more than 1,020 homes and 700 square metres of retail space, was originally granted outline planning permission in 1997. Whilst most of the development is complete, building work continues and a small number of empty plots of land within the site indicate where building has yet to start.

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The local SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officer has been involved throughout this 20-year period advising a succession of different development companies to include crime prevention measures into the layout and landscaping, like lots of natural surveillance, and into the physical security of buildings, such as doors, windows and locks.

Located to the South West of Northampton, Upton is a partnership between Northampton Borough Council, English Partnerships, the landowners, and The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, which promotes best practice in sustainable urban growth.

Developers were required to adhere to a Design Code, first published in May 2003, to establish best practice in sustainable urban growth and the creation of a distinctive, enduring environment. For developers, it was the blueprint to achieve consistent environmental standards across the whole site.

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Upton has a wide range of dwelling sizes, house types and tenures to suit people of different incomes and ages with a minimum of 22% of affordable housing pepper-potted throughout the site to be indistinguishable from market housing. The use of local materials to reflect local building character has helped establish Upton as a part of Northampton with a distinctive identity.

Other standards included a Sustainable Urban Drainage System, which was designed to manage rainwater run-off, with rainwater harvesting technologies incorporated to allow for rainwater use within homes as well as promote local biodiversity by allowing new wildlife habitats to establish.

OImage 6 mid res DSC 0029 fav 260x173ver the years, Upton has received full SBD certification for both the built environment and physical security of buildings and the latest phases will receive SBD certification once completed.

Sharon Henley, Designing Out Crime Officer for Northampton, said developments evolving over many years with different developers responsible for different phases present practical challenges in terms of changing building standards, building materials and crime prevention techniques over time.

“We have to keep on top of it all the time and maintain good lines of communication with the respective developers – and changes in their design and management teams – to ensure consistency in our approach to make sure residents are going to be as safe as possible in their new homes.

“We also need to visit the development regularly to ensure security features like access controlled gates to rear car parks are working, and other secured gate entrances are not left open to invite criminal activity.”

The Prince’s Foundation’s first model village was at Poundbury, an urban extension to Dorchester, which was built from 1993 on the principles of architecture and urban planning as advocated by The Prince of Wales in a ‘Vision of Britain’.

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Our aim is to achieve sustainable reductions in crime through design and other approaches to enable people to live in a safer society.
Tel: 0203 8623 999

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