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Liverpool - European City of Culture 2008

From a story in the Liverpool Echo (M. Murtagh)

What the developer said to his chief critic: Dear sir, you are a fucking ignorant pig

A WAR of words has broken out between a millionaire property magnate and a tour guide over the £100m transformation of Liverpool’s Hope Street. Councillors last week approved a controversial plan to flatten much-loved Josephine Butler House at the junction with Myrtle Street, and replace it with a modern building.

Beatles tour guide Philip Coppell expressed his disgust about the scheme to Maghull Developments managing director Michael Hanlon, questioned how it got planning permission and said he hoped the company went bankrupt.

Mr Hanlon, who is seeking legal advice about Mr Coppell’s comments, launched a tirade of foul mouthed abuse in an email reply. Mr Hanlon’s expletive-strewn reply called Mr Coppell a “fucking ignorant pig” and told him that “we could always make room for you in the foundations within the new development”.

Mr Coppell today said: “This man is not fit to be involved in the development of this city. The email I got from him is abusive and I was appalled by it. “I was really angry that they have been given permission for this development. I just wanted to let them know I was unhappy about it. “This is a managing director of a company that the council and planning department are dealing with.”

When approached by the Liverpool Echo, Mr Hanlon was unrepentant. A spokesman for the Maghull Group said: “Michael Hanlon did send this email. “It was in response to a grossly offensive and defamatory email received from Philip Coppell, about which both Michael and Maghull Group are taking legal advice.”

Mr Coppell sought advice from Merseyside police over the email. He said they advised him any further contact from Mr Hanlon could be considered harassment.

Josephine Butler House will be demolished to make way for offices, shops and restaurants. Designers from Maghull Developments convinced Liverpool council’s planning committee the scheme should go ahead.

From: Philip Coppell, Sent: 10 April 2008

Philipp Coppell IT is an absolute disgrace that your company has been allowed to build that eyesore on Mytle St. (sic). You are no better than those builders who “modernise” terraced houses. Destroying the appearance of a line of terrace houses by putting rendering over brick. This development is totally unsuitable for the area and it makes me wonder what you did to get planning permission. Please leave Liverpool alone as you are only in it for the money and I hope that the present credit crunch bankrupts your company and this obscene development never sees the light of day

From: Michael Hanlon, Sent: 10 April 2008

Michael Hanlon, Maghull Group

Dear Philip,

Thank you for your exquisite email below which I presume refers to the granting of planning permission to redevelop the Josephine Butler House site at the junction of Hope Street and Myrtle Street.

Are you always so ignorant? If your wife thinks you are a fucking ignorant pig then perhaps someone can refer you to a specialist who may be able to help you.

However, if you are as ignorant as I think you are and are beyond medical help then we could always make room for you in the foundations within the new development. From what I have heard about you from several colleagues of yours this course of action would delight many of your peers, and most certainly your wife.

Please let me know should you wish to discuss face to face your snide comments regarding what we may have done to secure planning consent for the scheme... but the short answer is more than two years of very high level discussions and negotiations with the Planning Director and Officers, Conservation Officers, Highways Officers, English Heritage and a whole raft of local consultation groups, many of which consist of time wasting wankers like you who seem to think they are experts in heritage and regeneration and that professional people like myself and English Heritage don’t have a clue. Well guess what, dickhead, you are wrong.

It’s been hard work but it will be worth it to develop a first class modern mixed use scheme which will bring delight into so many people’s lives, create in excess of £60m of investment and over 200 jobs for local people. Finally, there is more chance of John Lennon giving a guest appearance next Friday night at one of your poxy tour do’s than the credit crunch bankrupting our business, so if you don’t like our proposals then that’s hard lines for you , so why don’t you fuck off and seek medical help for your condition too.

My contact numbers are below should you wish to discuss any of the above in greater detail, or arrange a meeting face to face.

Regards, Mike.








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