Barton Park is one of ten places designated ‘healthy new towns’ by NHS England.
Barton Park is the one of the smaller developments. The full list is:
- Whitehill and Bordon, Hampshire – 3,350 new homes on a former army barracks. A new care campus will co-locate ‘care-ready homes’ specially designed to be adaptable to the needs of people with long term conditions with a nurse-led treatment centre, pharmacy and integrated care hub.
- Cranbrook, Devon – 8,000 new residential units. Data suggests that Cranbrook has three times the national average of 0-4 year olds and will look at how prevention and healthy lifestyles can be taught in schools from a young age.
- Darlington – 2,500 residential units across three linked sites in the Eastern Growth Zone. Darlington is developing a ‘virtual care home’ offer where a group of homes with shared facilities are configured to link directly into a digital care hub, avoiding institutionalisation in nursing homes.
- Barking Riverside – 10,800 residential units on London’s largest brownfield site.
- Whyndyke Farm in Fylde, Lancashire – 1,400 residential units.
- Halton Lea, Runcorn – 800 residential units.
- Bicester, Oxon – 393 houses in the Elmsbrook project, part of 1300 new homes planned.
- Northstowe, Cambridgeshire – 10,000 homes on former military land.
- Ebbsfleet Garden City, Kent – up to 15,000 new homes in the first garden city for 100 years.
- Barton Park, Oxford – 885 residential units.
The NHS will bring in clinicians, designers and technology experts to work with developers to explore new ways of encouraging healthy lifestyles and of delivering healthcare. They say they want to “test creative solutions for the health and care challenges of the 21st century, including obesity, dementia and community cohesion”. Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England said:
“We want children to have places where they want to play with friends and can safely walk or cycle to school – rather than just exercising their fingers on video games. We want to see neighbourhoods and adaptable home designs that make it easier for older people to continue to live independently wherever possible. And we want new ways of providing new types of digitally-enabled local health services that share physical infrastructure and staff with schools and community groups.”
These NHS objectives match up well with the objectives the Barton Park developers set themselves: to create an ‘exemplar’ development which encourages walking and cycling rather than car use, safe streets, open spaces and access to the countryside. But as ever, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.