A 91-hectare housing development planned for Fylde has been designated a ‘Healthy New Town’ as a blueprint for communities of the future.

The 1,400-home Whyndyke Farm development, skirted by the M55, Preston New Road and Mythop Road, was given planning permission, subject to a s106 agreement, by Fylde Council and Blackpool Council last year – and on Friday was awarded Healthy New Town status by the King’s Fund.

The intention of the designation is to design the town of the future, building a community, not just a dormitory town, with education, health, work and neighbourliness at its core.

Detailed work will now begin into provision of cycle paths and walkways, two neighbourhood centres, educational provision – possibly with school provision incorporated into the neighbourhood centres – sports pitches and local shops before work begins in about 18 months.

Approximately 20 hectares of the site will be designated for employment use, reducing journeys to work, and giving the development a community feel.

Peter Tinson, chief operating officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, which was one of the parties in the King’s Fund bid, said: “We are thrilled that a development of this nature will be coming to the Fylde coast.

“We need to find new and innovative ways of easing the pressure on health services to ensure everyone can access them when they need them the most.

“By creating these Healthy New Towns, we will be continuing to promote health living among residents and ensuring people stay as fit and well as possible.

“This is an exciting time for us to work with our local health and local authority partners to improve the lives and general health and wellbeing of people living across the Fylde coast.”

The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, will announce the plans to create 10 Healthy New Towns across England during a speech to the King’s Fund today in London.

The NHS will help shape the way these new sites develop, so as to test creative solutions for the health and care challenges of the 21st century, including obesity, dementia and community cohesion.

The schemes will bring together renowned clinicians, designers and technology experts to reimagine how healthcare can be delivered in these places, to showcase what’s possible by joining up design of the built environment with modern health and care services, and to deploy new models of technology-enabled primary care.

Options to be tested at some of the Healthy New Towns include fast food-free zones near schools, designing safe and appealing green spaces, building dementia-friendly streets and ensuring people can access new GP services using digital technology. The developments will reflect the needs of their local populations when working up their plans.

Mr Stevens said: “The much-needed push to kick-start affordable housing across England creates a golden opportunity for the NHS to help promote health and keep people independent.

“As these new neighbourhoods and towns are built, we will kick ourselves if in 10 years time we look back having missed the opportunity to ‘design out’ the obesogenic environment and ‘design in’ health and wellbeing.

“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.”

Allan Oldfield, chief executive of Fylde Council, said: “Health is about more than medicine. We, the NHS and the developer believe that prevention of ill health is better than curing it for everyone.

“We want to make a genuine community, rather than just the dormitory towns we have become accustomed to in recent decades.

“Good health and neighbourliness will be built into the design of the new town, so we will be looking at leisure, health and work facilities all connected sensitively and in a way that will minimise car use.

“We’re very excited at the possibilities. Much of the detailed work now has to start, although we have the commitment from the NHS to bring their knowledge to the table in a way that will benefit us all.”

The next step is to formally establish a partnership between all interested parties to work on details. The work itself is expected to take 15 to 20 years.

It is hoped that technology will play a part in keeping people healthy – one proposal is to put electronic waymarkers in lamp-posts so that people can work out how many calories they have burned while walking.

Alban Cassidy, chartered town planner and environmental consultant at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “As the only private organisation to be involved in the bid, it’s great to see for-profit and not-for-profit organisations working in unison to actively improve the standard of health in Blackpool.

“We worked on the Whyndyke Farm project for several years before it gained planning permission and I’m absolutely delighted that it’s now achieved Healthy New Towns status.

“What makes this particular initiative unique is that the 225-acre, 91-hectare scheme straddles both Fylde and Blackpool Council boundaries, meaning the two local authorities will be working together to place health at the heart of the community and set the bar to achieving healthier lifestyles.”

Expressions of interest in the Healthy New Towns programme were invited last summer, and attracted 114 applications from local authorities, housing associations, NHS organisations and housing developers, far exceeding expectations.

After a rigorous selection process and presentations from the shortlisted projects, the first 10 sites have now been chosen.

The other nine are:

  • 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.
  • 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.