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Sandwell is a metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, adjoining the city of Birmingham. The towns that make up Sandwell include West Bromwich, Oldbury, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and Cradley Heath.

Sandwell holds the record for the biggest amount of tower blocks demolished in Europe. Over the past 20 years, 61 obsolete tower blocks have been removed from the local authority stock holding.

In the removal of all of these tower blocks, particularly in the area of controlled explosive demolition, which has been used to remove a record 25 blocks, Sandwell MBC has gained a national and international reputation in this field. This reputation has caused other local authorities to seek the expertise of Sandwell MBC when delivering their demolitions, particularly by controlled explosion.

The first tower block in Sandwell was built in 1954 and by 1980, there were 120 tower blocks. The Council has successfully removed a total of 1,875 obsolete homes and 30 unwanted shops in five years, releasing land for the regeneration of Sandwell.

Progress:

  • 2002/3 – 359 residential units and 4 shops demolished
  • 2003/4 – 516 residential units and 3 shops demolished
  • 2004/5 – 421 residential units demolished
  • 2005/6 – 280 residential units and 19 shops demolished
  • 2006/7 – 295 residential units and 4 shops with flats demolished

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