Housebuilders and housing associations are being challenged to put healthy living at the heart of residential development.

NHS England is currently inviting developers and housing associations to join a national network that will use healthy place-making to improve the nation’s health. The Healthy New Towns initiative seeks to promote a healthier built environment that will help tackle the increasing health and care challenges facing the country, such as obesity, dementia and social isolation. Developers will work in partnership with NHS bodies, local authorities and the voluntary sector to embed health and wellbeing in residential development and regeneration schemes.

The first Healthy New Towns programme covered 10 demonstrator sites across England, delivering 60,000 new homes. Innovations included health hubs, fitness programmes and safe play areas. NHS England believes that the lessons learned from those schemes can be used to benefit future housing developments.