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New homeowners to get ‘healthy living’ incentives

22 August 2017

Families moving into one of 76,000 new-build homes could be incentivised to live more healthly lifestyles, according to NHS England.

NHS England is proposing 10 “healthy new towns” where residents could win free cinema tickets, food discounts and low-cost gym membership if they sign up to exercise apps that track their progress.

New homes could also be sold with free bikes, running tracks on pavements outside and community gyms to encourage residents towards a more active lifestyle

Residents could also have money knocked off their supermarket bills if they hit exercise targets under NHS plans to promote healthy living, reports The Times.

There are more than 76,000 homes on sites that have joined the programme, including Ebbsfleet Garden City in Kent, Barton Park in Oxford, Whitehill and Bordon in Hampshire, Cranbrook in Devon, Barking Riverside in London, Whyndyke Farm in Lancashire, as well as new developments in Darlington, Bicester, Oxfordshire, and Northstowe in Cambridgeshire.

While the Bicester development will offer 40% green space for allotments, cycle and walkways, the Darlington development plans to build “smart homes” in which the NHS can use technology to monitor the health of elderly residents.

The Times quoted Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, who said: “The NHS makes no apologies for weighing in with good ideas on how the how the built environment can encourage healthy towns and supportive neighbourhoods.”

While the idea for a programme was launched in March last year, NHS England has since put its design out to competition. Citiesmode, urban planners based in London, won with plans for Halton Lea in Runcorn, proposing an “urban obstacle course” linking public gym equipment with sprinting tracks on pavements, free bikes, a community kitchen, shopping discounts and universal wifi to help access health technology.

Halton Lea is due to deliver on its strategy in January next year.

Healthy new homes locations

Darlington, Co Durham - 2,500 new homes. A group of “virtual care homes” will link directly into a digital care hub

Whitehill and Bordon, Hampshire - 3,350 homes. Campus will adapt to needs of long-term sick

Cranbrook, Devon - 8,000 homes. Cranbrook will look at how healthy lifestyles can be taught in schools 

Whyndyke Farm, Fylde, Lancashire - 1,400 homes

Halton Lea, Runcorn, Cheshire - 800 homes 

Northstowe, Cambridgeshire - 10,000 homes 

Bicester, Oxfordshire - 1,300 new homes

Barton Park, Oxfordshire — 885 homes

Barking Riverside, London - 10,800 homes

Ebbsfleet Garden City, Kent - 15,000 homes. The first garden city for 100 years

Image: Arne9001/Dreamstime

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