British Land’s plans for a 35-storey Birmingham office tower are ‘confused’, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) has said.

In a letter to Birmingham City Council, CABE, the government’s architecture watchdog, said it could not give its support to British Land’s planning application for its £160m 103 Colmore Row development.

‘While the building’s principal strategies are sound, we are not convinced that it has reached the high quality required and we think that further work is necessary,’ the letter said.’

The Hamlitons architects-designed building, which has three different elevations, is 'too complex' and needs a more confident design which 'better connects the separate pieces of the tower.'

British Land bought 103 Colmore Row in November 2006.

The 280,000 sq ft office block is to be developed on the site of the 17-storey NatWest Tower, which British Land bought for around £25m.

British Land was hoping to start demolishing the NatWest Tower this year, after being granted planning, with completion expected for 2011.