Humberston 400-home development could be a crime hotspot
POLICE believe a 400-home development in Humberston could provide a hotspot for crime and antisocial behaviour.
Design experts from Humberside Police were invited to comment on Keystone Developments' outline planning application for land off Humberston Road.
And crime prevention design adviser Andy Robinson highlighted a number of flaws which he believes would lead to "the opportunity for criminal activity and anti-social behaviour."
He expresses concerns that areas such as public footpaths, cycle paths, parking courts and a children's playground could attract criminal behaviour because they are isolated by trees and bushes in the plans.
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Meanwhile, issues over street lighting could mean the network of paths, the play area and two sub-stations could also be used for criminal activity.
He said: "Networks of separate paths to unsupervised areas facilitate crime and anti-social behaviour and should be avoided."
He said that the suggested location of the play area – intersecting a number of the proposed paths – could also create the opportunity for "harassment or for passers-by to be otherwise put in fear."
He recommended play equipment for young people of all ages be included to try to counteract this.
"Such provision can be effective in preventing criminal behaviour, although care should be taken to ensure excessive numbers do not congregate in any one area," he said.
His report reveals that acquisitive crimes, such as burglary, and criminal damage have been the main issues reported to police in the surrounding area in the last 12 months.
He added: "Any development should be designed in order to best counteract criminal activity that is currently being experienced in the surrounding area so as not to create any disproportionate increase.
"I have concerns that the development will be effectively open along its southern boundary.
"This, coupled with the suggested routes through the development, will create the opportunity for criminal activity and anti-social behaviour."
Nikki Hales, from the Save Our Fields campaign group, said she is pleased that these potential issues have been flagged up.
She added: "This report has reinforced the views of our group.
"With all of the cutbacks that have occurred, police are struggling to deal with the problems they have already got, without developers increasing their burden further.
"The same could be said of all of the other developments that are being proposed."
As reported, residents are furious over plans for three housing developments in Humberston – these 400 homes from Keystone Developments, 400 at Millennium Park and 110 on the old Humberston Park golf course.
'Great deal of experience in creating safe places to live'
Nick Worboys, Longhurst Group’s assistant director of development:
“We have a great deal of experience in creating places to live that are both pleasant and safe. An independent, expert Design Review Panel concluded that our proposed development lends itself to natural surveillance and crime prevention. We look forward to working with Humberside Police and other local organisations to improve our plans even further.
“At this stage, we are applying for outline planning permission. This means that there is still a process of detailed planning to be undertaken where specifics such as the exact situation of the proposed play area will be finalised.
“Half of our scheme will be a retirement community and we have an excellent track record of promoting a strong sense of community spirit within our developments. It is also important to remember that we won’t just build and go – we will remain on site managing the retirement community and the Affordable Dwellings in perpetuity with community officers on hand at all times.”