Responsibility for producing the next generation of iconic Birmingham buildings has switched between contenders for the the title of Britain's finest architect.

Lord Richard Rogers, whose achievements read like a who's who of contemporary design, will play no further part in the development of the multi-million pound Eastside regeneration project.

The role has been handed instead to Birmingham-born Ken Shuttleworth, who is also behind The Cube at the Mailbox, the new Digbeth coach station and has been short-listed to design the Centenary Square Library.

Mr Shuttleworth was given the task of drawing up a masterplan for the £100 million City Park Gate scheme at Eastside after Lord Rogers withdrew from the project.

The switch followed a city council decision not to proceed with Lord Rogers' £179 million library at Eastside.

Suggestions by the Richard Rogers Partnership that the council was intent on a "wholesale review" of City Park Gate were dismissed by Councillor Ken Hardeman, the cabinet member for regeneration.

Coun Hardeman (Con Brandwood) said: "There are no major changes that could have caused Lord Rogers to feel that he didn't want to be involved.

"He felt he wanted to withdraw but I think it was because the library issue wasn't working out the

way he wanted it to. Richard Rogers contributed to the plan for City Park Gate but was never formally involved in master planning Eastside. It was only because of his library involvement."

Coun Hardeman said Countryside Properties and Quintain Estates, the developers of City Park Gate, had approved the withdrawal of Lord Rogers and the appointment of Ken Shuttleworth.

The latest turn of events has infuriated the council Labour group, which championed the Rogers library scheme.

Labour leader Sir Albert Bore said: "They have treated a world-renowned architect with incredible disdain. The whole thing is annoying and undermining."

Coun Hardeman insisted: "We have an architect of repute and I can uarantee that Eastside will not suffer because Lord Rogers has decided it is not worth pursuing.

"The regeneration of Eastside is very much on track.

"The Masshouse scheme is already underway and growing on the skyline. Last week we launched an international design competition for Birmingham's first city centre park for 125 years, and in the same week Roc International launched proposals for a £60 million tower which is set to become a stunning tourist attraction.

"Ken Shuttleworth is already designing major schemes in Birmingham and he will weave the same magic on City Park Gate."

John Grealis, regional director for Major Projects, Countryside Properties, said: "Richard Rogers produced a great masterplan for City Park Gate over two years ago. Over time the area surrounding our site has changed and as a result we have had to instruct a review of our proposals to ensure that development suitably responds to its evolving surroundings.

"Unfortunately, Richard Rogers Partnership were unable to commit resources to undertaken the review in the time available and as a result it was jointly decided that it would be better that Richard Rogers withdraw from the project.

"We believe that we have replaced one great architect with another in appointing MAKE. We are very excited by Ken Shuttleworth's ideas and believe that we will come up with a great development fit for a great city."