Developers of a major scheme on the NatWest Tower site have hit out at council planners after an application to demolish the John Madin building was refused.
Councillors were concerned at the prospect that, if the plans for the new building fell through, they would be left with an open plot on a prominent city centre conservation area site.
However, Peter Graham, construction director of Sterling Property Ventures, said: "We are extremely disappointed by this decision, particularly since the application was recommended for approval by the council's officers."
The existing 22-storey skyscraper has been vacant since 2003. The site, part of Birmingham City Centre's enterprise zone, is earmarked for early redevelopment.
Mr Graham pointed out the proposed new build will create 500 direct construction jobs, with the replacement tower housing 2,000 workers.
He responded after the planning department opted to refuse after Coun Barry Henley said the panel should consider both the demolition and the new building applications together.
Sterling and Rockspring, which acquired the site in November 2014, had planned to begin a demolition programme lasting up to a year within the next few weeks while simultaneously seeking planning permission for a replacement commercial building.
Geoff Wright, of GW Planning, adviser to Sterling and Rockspring, said: "The planning committee indicated they need reassurance that the plans for the new scheme will be formally submitted before they will give the go-ahead on demolition.
“The plans are currently out for consultation and our intention is to refine them following the consultation exercise and to lodge an application in May.
"We had hoped to begin the demolition before then, in order to truncate the build programme. Regrettably, this will now be set back but we will work with Birmingham City Council to overcome their concerns and expedite development."
Plans for a new 211,000 sq ft, 26-storey steel, aluminium and glazed structure were unveiled at a public consultation this week. The building will comprise 196,000 sq ft of office space over 19 floors and 15,000 sq ft of leisure space, including a rooftop restaurant with 360 degrees across the city.