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LIBRARY CALLS REJECTED

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The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has rejected calls to list the John Madin Partnership's 1973 Birmingham Central Library.The decision is a boost to Birmingham City Council, which is committed to selling the site for development to fund a new library, designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership.

If the building had been preserved, the council would have been forced to shelve RRP's plan, which it considers a cornerstone in its regeneration of the city's Eastside area and its continuing campaign to become European Capital of Culture in 2008.

The decision follows the launch of a campaign last month by the 20th Century Society to save the building, describing it as a 'fine example of civic architecture'.

A spokeswoman for the DCMS said, while it thought the building worthy of note, it could not be saved.'Ministers do understand that the library is an interesting building and any decision is bound to be controversial, 'she said.'But the strength of local feeling cannot be part of our decision-making procedure.'

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