An "awful" and "horrendous" Birmingham link bridge which has blighted the city centre for decades can be torn down, following a unanimous vote by planners.
The decision means the sweeping concrete-clad Ringway Centre, in Smallbrook Queensway, can be part-demolished, part-reclad and a 26-storey tower block added in a major £70 million redevelopment.
The redevelopment was opposed by members of the Brutiful Birmingham group, which campaigns to retain the city's distinctive post-war architecture.
But the council's planning committee was scathing of the collection of 1960s buildings.
Committee member Coun Barry Henley (Lab Brandwood) said: "I don't like concrete, as soon as the atmosphere and rain gets to work, it looks stained and dirty. I am happy that the Hurst Street bridge has to go because it's awful."
Coun Gareth Moore (Con Erdington) said he had walked under the bridge on many occasions and could not wait to see it go.
"It's horrendous. It's a God-awful building, it has no architectural merit. Concrete is not suitable for these buildings," he told today's meeting.
They agreed the new designs were far more attractive and welcomed the fact that the sweeping curve of the Ringway Centre would be retained.
The committee had earlier heard from Mary Keating, of Brutiful Birmingham, who said the building was on a local list of historic sites and should be preserved.
"What is the value of locally listing if it is not taken seriously?", she said.
Planning officer Louise Robinson responded that the local list had no legal weight and added that Historic England had, as recently as last August, decided the Ringway was not suitable for legal protection.
Speaking on behalf of developer Commercial Estates Group (CEG), Roger Tristain said the office block was out of date.
"The existing buildings are unable to attract the commercial and retail rent needed to sustain them," he said.
The plans will see the section from Holloway Circus to Hurst Street, including the bridge, demolished and a new nine-storey block, with shops and offices, built.
A 26-storey apartment block will be built on the Hurst Street junction corner.
The second section of the development will see the building between the Bullring and Hurst Street stripped back, re-clad and two stories added.
Following the meeting, Iain MacSween, development manager at CEG, said: "Today's decision to approve these applications will enable the delivery of a vibrant, attractive development which will regenerate this prominent location creating new job opportunities, homes, retail and leisure space close to the city centre.
"It will also open up Hurst Street views and provide a new iconic, landmark building."
The construction phase will see an estimated 500 jobs created and, once open, the offices, bars and shops will create a further 1,100 permanent jobs.