The best place to grow old

IF England's one-day cricket team wanted to avoid a seven-nil whitewash at the hands of Australia, they could do worse than move to west Suffolk - at least then they could bank on a good innings.

Laurence Cawley

IF England's one-day cricket team wanted to avoid a seven-nil whitewash at the hands of Australia, they could do worse than move to west Suffolk - at least then they could bank on a good innings.

The Moreton Hall estate in Bury St Edmunds has once again topped national tables for having the longest life expectancy in the UK - with an average age at death of 93.4 years old.

That is almost 26 years more than the area with the worst life expectancy, the Middlehaven dockland area of Middlesbrough, the Office for National Statistics' latest figures show.

Built on the original Moreton Hall farmland, the estate which bears its name has grown in fits and bursts during the past 30 years.

There are now more than 7,000 residents there and that number is set to grow.

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But the question which has left residents in the estate stumped is why their life expectancy should be so much higher than elsewhere.

Town councillor for Moreton Hall, Roy Bebbington, said: “It isn't that different to anywhere else. What we like about it here is that we can do long walks, and out of our back garden we can just see trees.

“You would not know you were in Moreton Hall when you're in our back garden because it is idyllic and our house is just a typical two-bedroom semi-detached home, a typical estate house.

“I can't believe it is the air or anything like that - we all breathe the same air right across Bury.”

Mr Bebbington said he hoped Moreton Hall did not continue to expand unchecked in the future - in case it lowered the life expectancies of its current residents.

When the EADT contacted Christ Church in Moreton Hall to ask whether its ministers had noticed, when conducting funerals, an unusually high age at time of death, a member of staff there said: “To be honest we don't have too many funerals here.”