Dear Sir, Your editorial (Birmingham Post, November 26) asserts that there can be no plausible excuses for the length of time it took the Department of Culture Media and Sport to decide that Birmingham Central Library was not worthy of being listed.
I agree that if Architecture Minister Margaret Hodge’s decision had been based simply on the building’s architectural merit, she could have made her mind up a year ago but delay was clearly in the council’s interest because it put off by a year or more the moment when supporters of listing could put in another listing application.
The reason Gary Taylor, of developers Argent, and the council are so anxious to demolish the building within the five-year ‘breathing space’ is that they know what a close call her decision was.
In five years’ time the climate of opinion in Birmingham will shift more decisively in favour of retaining important 20th-century buildings, as it did once with Victorian and early Modern buildings.
We expect to be around to see the library still standing in 2013 when our application for listing will be ready to go to the minister of the day.