Secured by Design Requirements for New Homes

Secured by Design (SBD) works with architects, builders and businesses to “design out crime”; for new homes this means that they must adhere to regulations and guidelines that improve the safety of buildings and their immediate surroundings. Simple changes to the design of communal spaces, lighting, landscape planting and perimeter security can significantly reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, putting less pressure on police forces.

Since SBD was established in 1989, the organisation has continually updated its advice in line with new security risks, technology, building methods and materials. In the last 20 years, over one million SBD homes have been built, with the specific requirements contributing to a 97% reduction in burglaries.

The latest guidance document from SBD includes new advice regarding boundaries, open spaces and more. You can read the full document on the SBD website, or read our summary of fencing- and boundary-specific guidance below.

Home Boundaries

Clearly defined boundaries between public and private spaces are important as they remove uncertainty; SBD advises that front boundaries must be kept low and planting should not obstruct windows to allow a clear line of sight to both the pavement and the road. Additionally, thorny plants, such as hawthorn, brambles and roses planted at the base of windows can deter intrusion.

Fencing and Posts

Fencing at a minimum height of 1.2m (approx. 3.9ft) around play areas with the functionality to be locked at night, discourages casual entry and helps prevent v anti-social behaviour or stray animals entering. For rear gardens, fencing or walls should be a minimum of 1.8m (approx. 5.9ft) tall.; Open fencing designs (such as trellis) can be added for additional surveillance capability and extended height (keeping within planning permission guidelines). Fencing posts and panels should be secured together using good quality fixings.

Fence posts should be made of a non-brittle material, for durability and strength, while fixings should be made of galvanised or stainless steel and match the design life of the timber used in the surrounding fencing. All timber used in the manufacture of fencing and gates should be fit for purpose, treated to provide a minimum of 25 years’ protection and produced from an FSC-certified sustained source.

All fencing should be installed to a high standard to not only sure the longevity and security of the boundary, but also to improve sustainability and lower maintenance costs. For high crime areas, more defensive planting to protect fencing may be required, and if necessary, fencing certified to LPS 1175 may be specified to offer increased protection against potential attack and intrusion.


For any new home, automated gates must be CE marked and meet all relevant statutory safety standards, with installation carried out by a trained, registered engineer to ensure smooth and safe operation. All gate hinges should be mounted behind the gate’s attack face and any hinge system must not allow for the gate to be lifted off. Access gates to rear gardens via a side entrance must be robust, lockable from both sides and reach the same height as the surrounding fence.

Climbing aids and open spaces

Open spaces should have features such as bollards, railings or other furniture to prevent unauthorised vehicular access.

To eliminate climbing or use as informal seating, wall-mounted railings should be as close to the outer face of the supporting wall as possible. Also any boundary walls, bin and fuel stores, street furniture, trees and car ports should be designed and positioned to prevent climbing and subsequent access to the property.

For more information about SBD and fencing or security, or for advice on which fencing styles and materials are best-suited to follow SBD guidance, contact us today.

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