Council leader pleads with culture minister to go against English Heritage wishes in five page letter

Birmingham council leader Mike Whitby has asked the government not to list the city’s Central Library.

Birmingham City Library

In a five page letter to the culture minister Margaret Hodge, Whitby pleaded that the building not be listed as recommended by English Heritage.

The council is working with Argent, the owners of the Paradise Forum shopping centre, on a regeneration project worth £1bn in central Birmingham’s Paradise Circus area.

However, plans to transform the area, which houses the library, were dealt a blow back in June when English Heritage called for the building to be listed.

Whitby said: “The conventional wisdom within the city is that the building significantly detracts from the civic ensemble.

“The city council profoundly disagrees with the recommendation of English Heritage and trusts that you will recognise the force of argument against the statutory listing of the Central Library.”