Birmingham New Street tower demolition starts

Stephenson Tower in foreground Over 7,000 tonnes of concrete will be removed

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Work has started to demolish a Birmingham city centre landmark, marking another step in the redevelopment of New Street station.

Stephenson Tower is coming down to make way for a new John Lewis store.

The 200ft (61m) high block was opened in 1966 by the city's Lord Mayor. Work to demolish it will start from the top, one floor at a time within a scaffold "wrap".

The new store is expected to open in 2014, subject to planning permission.

Network Rail said more than 7,000 tonnes of concrete would be removed during the demolition between now and early next year and around 95% of the material would be recycled.

Birmingham City Council leader Councillor Mike Whitby said demolishing the tower signified "the start of £100m worth of investment to redevelop the south side of Birmingham".

"With John Lewis creating over 650 new jobs and New Street offering a world class station for our region, the future of Birmingham looks bright," he added.

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