Dear Editor, The preliminary proposal for Paradise Circus and the surrounding area provides a glimpse of what can be realised with the removal of the existing Central Library and adjacent buildings. (Post, February 4)

Opening up views of the Town Hall, the Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square and Victoria Square – as well as removing part of the gyratory road network – affords huge opportunities. Glenn Howells Architects, Argent and the City Council are to be congratulated on this initial and early work.

But the opportunity is far greater still – and goes beyond sight-lines and pedestrian flow.

Here at the centre of the city, we have a chance to create a world showcase of environmentally sustainable buildings that are high in their efficiency and low in their energy consumption – and that are constructed for the very long-term. We need a built environment that matches the durability and longevity of the surrounding 19th century architecture and complements Mayor Joseph Chamberlain’s original vision.

We must not, indeed can not, contemplate that these buildings will disappear in thirty five years.

They must be there and admired for generations to come.

We need also to ensure that those youngsters that are currently studying in Birmingham schools and colleges, and who at times might think that the opportunities for work and fulfilment seem pretty bleak, are amongst those who design them, build them and, in due course, occupy them. Birmingham’s graduates of today must play a part in this development of tomorrow. In a city of innovation, there should be no desire and certainly no need to import skills and talent when those skills are already here.

This exciting development is at the heart of our city. We must ensure that it is our city, our people and future generations that benefit.

David Clarke,
The Birmingham Civic Society