Dictionary.com defines misinformation as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.” We have seen it raise its ugly head around the world, even close to home especially this year. To what are we specifically referring?
Recent planning applications to demolish the Coventry Cross and greatly change our Upper Precinct and Broadgate, are but two prime examples.
We tried hard to persuade Coventry City Council that the plans put forward by a London developer would dramatically harm our precious heritage but we didn’t stand a chance.
The Coventry Cross
As if our planners worked for the new restaurant in Cathedral Lanes, demolition and re-siting was passed without batting an eyelid. Council’s report claimed: Historic England had no objection—false claim; the plan would provide a better link between Broadgate and the Cathedral Quarter—false claim; the scheme will not create any significant impact upon the character and setting of the conservation area and surrounding listed buildings—false claim.
The Upper Precinct and Broadgate
The over-riding of Listing of one of our city’s most distinguished post-war heritage assets, with the developer allowed to rule the roost. The Council’s report claimed: Historic England had no objection –false claim; the alterations will better reflect the Donald Gibson design– false claim; changes will restore the views to the Cathedral Spire—false claim.
The use of these sort of statements to win the support of the planning committee devalues the democratic process. Forcing proposals through on a false premise goes against all the principles of good local government. What hope is there for the City Centre South Plan, future of the Canal Basin and Spon Street? The rest is dominated by high rise student accommodation. Not a happy picture for the city that so many of us love.