Dear Editor, The proposed British Land tower in Colmore Row (Birmingham's Tall Story, Post, May 21) should be judged on its architecture, not as part of a personal struggle.

This is one of the most sensitive sites in the historic city, right between Victoria Square and St Philip’s Cathedral.

The tower will be three times as bulky as the present one. It is not a design of high quality. I have heard one of its architects say that its shape is largely determined by the need to avoid legal actions for right to light. That is not going to produce great architecture.

It will rise straight up at back of the pavement. Whatever you think of the present building, its tower rises well back from the street behind a low banking hall. This preserves the traditional cornice height of Colmore Row. Looking along the street, even quite close to the tower, it doesn’t register.

On this very important site the historic scale is still in charge viewed from the street. The new proposal will change this totally. Thirty-five storeys at the back of the pavement will dominate the street utterly and totally, and completely crush the historic buildings around it.

Compare us with London, where Boris Johnson successfully made an issue out of Ken Livingstone’s love of tall buildings. Or with Manchester. Our Beetham Tower is in your face.

Manchester's is taller, but well sited, behind a huge warehouse so that traditional street architecture keeps its priority.

They want more towers, but sited carefully, to appear on the skyline but not damage the historic fabric. If we want to keep up with our rival city we need to learn from them. Colmore Row is where we should start.

ANDY FOSTER, by email


* Dads, too, should have a say over abortion

Dear Editor, MPs got this utterly and totally wrong! I remember sweeping up foetuses off the theatre floor as a student nurse during the early 1980s, when the consultant was doing a session of abortions on a designated day.

I remember listening to the puerile banter within the operating theatre from the staff whilst these abortions were happening and the post-op care given to girls as young as 16 once the abortion had occurred.

This memory has remained with me and I feel the debate it is treated like a buy one, get one free offer at a supermarket rather than a serious aspect of British society.

The father has as much decision over a child – unborn or not.

The law, if thought out properly and humanely, would allow the father to have a percentage decision regarding an abortion, before a final decision is made.

I was adopted in 1963 and I feel very strongly that if I had been born a bit later I may not have made it in life at all.

An abortion may have been the alternative and easiest option for my real mother.

Of course one hopes not.

IAN PAYNE, Walsall


* Poor still left out in the cold

Dear Editor,
If Coun Jerry Evans is accusing the Conservatives of opportunism as they berate the U-turn on doubling taxes for the poor (Post Letters, May 20) then he’s only partly correct.

There will still be 1.1 million lowest paid workers losing up to £100 each despite this stunt.

The increase in personal allowances of £600 at a cost of £2.7 billion results in less than a quarter of this cash (£630m) that will actually go to some of the losers – a very badly targeted about-face by Labour.

No one will feel better off by this move and as Labour make policy changes on the hoof it will be the poorest workers who are still left out in the cold.



* Sympathy for immigrants' visa problems

Dear Editor, It is time that elected representatives should speak in support of their constituents.

Well done Roger Godsiff MP (Sparkbrook). He has the support of the community on this issue and we back him whole-heartedly.

The extension time runs not from the arrival to the UK, but from the issue of the visa and one would be lucky to get one’s passport back in two months from the British High Commission.

Furthermore the required documents number 20, rather more than that mentioned by Roger Godsiff.

There are hundreds and thousands of such cases where the applicants are working without Home Office's clear policy and practice.

A Q Chaudhary, Chairman Council of British Pakistanis