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Anorak | After Grenfell Tower and ‘luxury flats’: milking the horror for clicks

After Grenfell Tower and ‘luxury flats’: milking the horror for clicks

by | 30th, June 2017

There’s fake news and there’s regretful reporting. After Grenfell Tower, the Independent told readers in a big and shocking headline: “Grenfell tower was covered in material to keep luxury flat owners happy. That’s being blamed for multiple deaths.”

 

grenfell tower was covered in material to keep luxury flat owners happy

 

The link between the desires of the rich and the horror endured by and fatal to Grenfell residents was stark. The story told readers.

Shocking stuff. People died so that the rich could enjoy a better view. But was it true? The story went viral, being shared tens of thousands of times on sites like Reddit and Tumblr. The Indy got lots of clicks. But the story has been changed, the headline now telling readers:

 

Grenfell Tower cladding that may have led to fire was chosen to improve appearance of Kensington block of flats

 

Grenfell Tower cladding that may have led to fire was chosen to improve appearance of Kensington block of flatsGrenfell Tower cladding that may have led to fire was chosen to improve appearance of Kensington block of flats.

The suspected cause of so much pain “may” be about appearance. And there’s no word on luxury flats. The story’s URL makes no such caveats. It has not been updated from the original:

 

renfell tower was covered in material to keep luxury flat owners happy

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-cladding-fire-cause-improve-kensington-block-flats-appearance-blaze-24-storey-west-a7789951.html

 

In paragraph 3 we get the first word on those “luxury flats” and the view from them:

And that cladding – a low-cost way of improving the front of the building – was chosen in part so that the tower would look better when seen from the conservation areas and luxury flats that surround north Kensington, according to planning documents, as well as to insulate it.

The story is based in a 2012 planning report. It stated:

“Due to its height the tower is visible from the adjacent Avondale Conservation Area to the south and the Ladbroke Conservation Area to the east. The changes to the existing tower will improve its appearance especially when viewed from the surrounding area.”

Still no word on owners of luxury flats triggering the cladding. But in paragraph 8, readers are told:

An environmental statement said that the “primary driver behind the refurbishment” was to address the insulation and air tightness”.

You can read the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s entire document here. You can also read that the cladding was “an integral part of the upgrade to the heating of the building, while also being a complete overhaul to its appearance”.

Looks were a factor. However, the reports contain not a single mention of luxury flats. But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good click.



Posted: 30th, June 2017 | In: News, Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink