By Paul McGurk
If you really want to avoid falling out with the neighbours, not to mention becoming a victim of crime, then you should probably avoid homes with parking at the back, cul-de-sacs with pedestrian access between them and secluded paths, new research has found.
The Design Council Cabe found that all these features can typically signal anti-social behaviour, neighbourhood disputes and a rise in crime.
In modern housing developments, the council said that relying on a gate for security is no substitute for good design.
Its chief executive David Kester said the research would give people the chance to work with builders and designers to help design good homes in new estates.
Parking in particular was singled out as was "a major source of neighbour disputes, anti-social behaviour and in some cases criminal damage and assault", with big communal parking courts at the back of developments "leading to higher levels of domestic burglary and car crime".
Garages in unusual places, or with access gained through side lanes, are also a tempting target for burglars.