Lyndhurst Estate From Harlesh Tower

4 of the 7 Lyndhurst tower blocks pre-redevelopment

is a council owned housing estate in Erdington, Birmingham, England and on the border with Sutton Coldfield. When completed, it consisted of numerous low rise maisonettes, 7 tower blocks, community facilities and a recreation ground. The site was previously home to luxury Victorian villas which were demolished after the second World War for the construction of the estate. Despite the loss of the building, the developers aimed to keep as many of the mature trees as possible.

The first phase of the estate was approved in 1958 and was completed by the end of 1960 by Wimpey for Birmingham City Council. Harlech Tower, the tallest tower block on the estate, became the tallest tower block in the city at 16 storeys. However, it was soon to be joined by the tallest tower block on the Primrose estate in the city which was of an equal height. The second phase, which included a single 9 storey tower block with 36 flats was approved in 1959 and constructed by DL.

In 1961, the estate won the Civic Award for housing due to its layout, retention of trees and architectural qualities. Despite this, the estate fell into decline in the 1980s and 1990s, suffering from severe social issues with high levels of crime and unemployment.

In 2008 the Lyndhurst estate was used for its scenery in the BBC drama 'Survivors'. The estate features in the second episode of the second series at approximately 49:00 minutes.

Birmingham City Council have started a redevelopment of the estate which has seen the demolition of the maisonette blocks, community facilities and two tower blocks: Burcombe Tower in 2010 and Harlech Tower in late-2011, following the removal of a mobile phone mast from its roof earlier in the year. The remaining tower blocks were refurbished extensively in 2010 and 2011. On the sites of the demolished buildings, new semi-detached homes will be constructed with the Lyndhurst recreation ground being relocated to the centre of the estate, rather than to the side, behind the Harlech Tower site where it currently is.

As Lyndhurst is on a high point, sitting on the large Gravelly Hill Ridgeway, its tower blocks can be seen from many miles away, especially now they are illuminated to look like hotels. It is possible to view the estate from the hill in Castle Bromwich , the plains in Wishaw, the northside of Walmley, Barr Beacon, Handsworth, south Aston, Ward End and Bromford.

Activity in local areasEdit

The refurbishment of the estate has bucked the trend in Birmingham north of the city centre, where 90+ tower blocks have been flattened since the 1990s (Not including Smethwick, West Bromwich or Walsall!). This was the fate that met many estates in the northside of the city, such as the Fosseway , Birches Green , four corners of Aston, Meadway, Bromford (inc. Tame ValleyFirs & Bromford Bridge), east Shard End, Smiths Wood (north Chelmsley Wood), Castle Vale and Falcon Lodge.

However to buck the trend even more, 2 large red brick tower blocks along with similar maisonettes and low rise flats were constructed on Berryfields farm, north Walmley in the late 1980s, perhaps being the last tower blocks to be built in the West Midlands. These could be seen as a replacement to the farcical subsidance of the Falcon Lodge high rises and nearby Stephens Road blocks which may well of been the most short lived tower block housing in local history. Two similar tower blocks are close by on the Mount View estate in Reddicap Heath and both can be easily mistaken to be the other.

Plans are underway to construct a new town on Green Belt land merged to the east of Sutton Coldfield comprising of 10,000-12,000 inhabitants in a wide range of housing, which may reopen the door to high rise housing, given the lack of suitable land meant to be available. Public consultation on this matter started on 6th January 2013 and ended in March 2013. Full information is available on the Birmingham City Council website, along with many other groups like Project Fields and environmentalists who have past experience in happenings with the construction of the local M6 Toll Motorway.

List of Lyndhurst tower blocksEdit

The single 16 storey tower blocks on the estate was Harlech Tower.

The five 12 storey tower blocks were:

* Demolished

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