Tanhouse

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Tanhouse is a residential area of Halesowen in the West Midlands of England. It is situated in the west of the town near the border with Stourbridge, and was developed in the 1960s by the local council for a development of houses and flats.

The newly completed estate consisted of three multi-storey blocks of flats - Kipling House, Byron House and Chaucer House. Along with the rest of the homes on the estate, they were praised by residents on their completion for offering a far higher standard of living than the older properties which many of their occupants had been rehoused from.

But a decline soon set in, and by 1980 Tanhouse was one of the most troubled estates in the Midlands. Drug abuse, burglary, vandalism, graffiti, litter, car crime and violence were just some of the many problems plaguing the area. The tower blocks were the centre of much of these problems. These started to improve by the 1990s.

In July 1999, Kipling House and Byron House were demolished in controlled explosions. Chaucer House was retained after a renovation scheme, and since then the area has improved (although a man was stabbed the week it was finished) and announced a much improved area.

Kipling and Byron House also incorporated a row of shops, which were also demolished in the explosion. A Chinese takeaway existed within the block, as did an off-licence. Due to crime being particularly rife at night, the off-licence did not open its doors in evenings during the shop's final years, and the retailer served his customers through a hatch in the window instead.

Image of Tanhouse flats falling

Coordinates: 52°27′22″N 2°05′20″W / 52.456°N 2.089°W / 52.456; -2.089