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Liverpool sets out plan to save World Heritage status

Words: Laura Edgar
Liverpool Central Docks / Shutterstock_206326072

Liverpool City Council, alongside the government and Historic England, has drafted plans to help to persuade UNESCO to remove the city from the ‘in danger’ of losing its heritage status list.

The Desired State of Conservation Report (DSOCR) focuses on the how city will balance its projects population and economic growth over the next 15 year, including the creation of 35,000 homes, while simultaneously protecting its World Heritage Site.

The main threat to the city’s heritage status according to UNESCO is the proposed developments in the £5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme, in particular the Central Docks area. Plans for this area were given outline planning permission in June 2013, but the report suggests that developer Peel’s outline proposal is now being reviewed, with a masterplan now set to take in heritage concerns and planning guidelines on heights of buildings.

The DSOCR also features a number of other proposed corrective measures, including:

  • The provision of a management plan for the World Heritage Site, which was approved by the council’s cabinet in May 2017.
  • To provide regulatory planning documents that provide clear, legal guidelines to protect the World Heritage Site Property, including a new supplementary planning document and the local plan.
  • Develop a skyline policy for tall buildings as proposed in the city’s local plan.

Additionally, the DSOCR takes into consideration the likely planning application by Everton Football Club to develop a new football stadium at Bramley Moore Dock. According to the council, the application will be dealt with in accordance with national and local planning policy and would need to demonstrate how it benefits the regeneration of the World Heritage Site.

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool’s World Heritage Status is of great importance to the city, not only in showcasing our unique maritime heritage but in how we can use it to shape our future, boosting both our tourism economy and our civic pride.

“This report shows in great detail the lengths Liverpool has already gone and will continue to go, to balance the needs of a growing city while protecting our World Heritage Status.

“This is a delicate task and involves all the major city stakeholders working together to understand very specific planning issues and creating solutions that work for the city and UNESCO.

“With the support and input of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, I am sure this collaborative approach means we can all ensure Liverpool’s World Heritage Status is secured when the committee meets in July.”

The DSOCR will go to the council’s cabinet on Friday (23 February) for endorsement following its recent submission to the government. Once approved, it will be submitted to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in July.

Image credit | Shutterstock