Fans of John Madin's architecture in Birmingham are set to be dealt another blow as one of his buildings is expected to receive a special status preventing it from being listed.
Known as a Certificate of Immunity from Listing (CoI), the decree means Chamber of Commerce House in Edgbaston cannot be awarded 'listed status' for a period of five years, something campaigners called a "death knell for an undervalued masterpiece".
Without this protection, the site in Harborne Road becomes much more attractive to developers wishing to demolish the building in order to regenerate the site as the edict means they would not have to contend with an application for it to be listed until at least 2021.
Chamber of Commerce House, which is on the historic Calthorpe Estate, was completed in 1960.
It is still owned by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and provides a head office for the business lobbying body.
However, the chamber unveiled in 2014 that it wanted to sell the building to plug a pension deficit and move to a new HQ, with rumours later circulating that Chinese investors were eyeing the site.
Applications for a CoI are lodged with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the heritage minister was "minded to approve" the certificate on March 15.
A consultation period of 28 days is then launched for representations and feedback, meaning a final decision on Chamber of Commerce House will be confirmed sometime after tomorrow.
A similar fate befell arguably Madin's most recognisable work, Central Library, after two unsuccessful applications were lodged to have that building listed (see more Madin stories below).
A CoI was issued in 2011 and expired in January this year, shortly after demolition work had started to make way for the £500 million Paradise regeneration.
Historic England, the body which campaigns for the preservation of the built environment, chose not to oppose the CoI application for Chamber of Commerce House in its advice to the DCMS.
Deborah Williams, listing team leader for the west region, said: "Although Chamber of Commerce was clearly a showpiece of Madin's early flair for imposing commercial buildings, which married design quality with high-quality materials and attention to detail, over time it has been much altered which has diluted the coherence of its design.
"Although some elements of real quality survive, the building as a whole lacks the necessary special interest for listing so we recommended a CoI should be issued."
Historic England's stance has angered campaign group the Twentieth Century Society which said it was "extremely disappointed" the group had not supported a previous application to have the building listed.
In a statement, conservation adviser Tess Pinto said the body believed Chamber of Commerce House was of "both local and national importance" and a CoI would "sound the death knell for another of Madin's undervalued masterpieces".
She added: "In the light of important new research which has established Madin as a key figure in post-war British architecture and the widespread demolition of some of his finest buildings, we hoped Historic England would reconsider their previous decision in 2004 to decline to recommend the building for listing.
"Chamber of Commerce is characterised by careful detailing, use of high-quality natural materials and craftsmanship.
"Much of the original fabric does remain intact and the alterations are of minimal consequence in the wider importance of the building as an architectural landmark."
A mosaic mural by John Piper sits in the building's entrance hall and its future is "now of real concern", Ms Pinto added.