Birmingham council leader Mike Whitby has written a letter asking culture minister Margaret Hodge not to list Birmingham’s city centre library.

The council is working with Paradise Forum shopping centre owner Argent on plans to transform the area into a 2m sq ft mixed-use scheme but English Heritage recommended that the library be listed in June causing problems for the development.

In the five page letter Whitby said the listing of the library would effect the plans for a £1bn regeneration of central Birmingham’s Paradise Circus area.

In the letter, Whitby said: ‘The conventional wisdom within the city is that the building significantly detracts from the civic ensemble, particularly the recently refurbished Grade l Town Hall and the manner in which the link block, part of the original ensemble, collides with the Grade II* listed Council House Extension is one of the more obvious ways in which the building fails to respect its higher quality neighbours.’

The letter ended with: ‘The City Council profoundly disagrees with the recommendation of English Heritage and trusts that you will recognise the force of argument against the statutory listing of the Central Library.’