Recently described as ‘resembling Beruit’, the Egghill Estate near Frankley Beeches, Northfield, was built during the 1950s/1960s and encompassed many types of poor quality housing from the tower blocks which once lined Lower Beeches Road, to the prefab, concrete housing elsewhere on the estate: demolition and a fresh start was the only economically viable option.
The project has lurched forwards in fits and starts for the past 10 years with no visible signs of it drawing to a conclusion. For the families left inhabiting the largely derelict estate, life became so bad due to the local ‘youth’ stalking the area and smashing everything in sight that the Council employed ex-SAS operatives to undertake covert surveillance in order to build cases for prosecution.
It all seems a far cry from my youth as I grew up in a tower block on Lower Beeches Road and have what is probably a rose-tinted view of the area. However, the estate today appears to be somewhat in limbo – the majority of the council housing has gone, a sprinkling of housing association housing has been built but vast swathes of the area are just rubble strewn pasture with no visible sign of any ‘regeneration’ at all.
The estate is still a high-crime black spot and, for those residents in surrounding roads, an eyesore and a magnet to the less savoury element of the region’s youth and joyriders. Just what has stalled the process so considerably I don’t know – if you do, please let me know – but I have placed a few photos on this page which should give you a ‘flavour’ of the current state of play including the shot above of Raven Hays Road which is at the heart of the estate and used to play host to the Housing Department’s Repairs Depot – somewhat ironic!