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Goscote is a residential area of Walsall in the West Midlands of England. The Goscote name dates back several centuries and as recently as 1920 it was a rural area that had survived the recent Industrial Revolution which dramatically altered the face of the region.
But a mile or two away in Walsall town centre, hundreds of families were living in squalid and sub-standard housing. By the outbreak of World War II in 1939, some 400 families had been rehoused to new council housing around Goscote, mostly around Goscote Lodge Crescent. Further new housing was developed by the council around Goscote after the war ended in 1945.
However, Goscote was in serious decline towards the end of the 20th century with high crime rates. Demand for housing in the area became low, leading to an increase in the number of empty properties. Arson attacks were also a frequent occurrence.
In January 2007, the local council announced plans to demolish 281 interwar properties on Goscote Lodge Crescent, Hildicks Crescent and Middle Crescent. By this stage, several houses on the estate had already been demolished due to attacks by vandals and arsonists while they were empty. 103 of the 281 condemned houses were already empty by the time of the council's decision to demolish them.By April 2008, just over 20 families remained on the condemned estate, which the remaining residents were now comparing to war-torn Basra in Iraq due to arson, looting and vandalism. Some of the empty properties had already been demolished by this stageThe final resident left the estate in July 2011, enabling the final stage of demolition to take place. Plans for 808 new homes on the estate were announced at the end of that year.