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Tuesday22 August 2017

Unesco prepares to strip Liverpool of heritage status

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Organisation says Chapman Taylor’s plans put city’s heritage at risk

Unesco is preparing to strip Liverpool of its world heritage status if Chapman Taylor’s Liverpool Waters scheme is built.

Liverpool has been recommended for inclusion on Unesco’s List of World Heritage in Danger as a result of developer Peel Holdings’ proposed scheme.

A report into the proposals will be considered when the organisation meets next week to discuss the state of heritage sites around the world.

The report recommends that Unesco considers “that the proposed development of Liverpool Waters constitutes a potential danger to the World Heritage property and, therefore, decides to inscribe Liverpool on the List of World Heritage in Danger, with the possibility of deletion of the property from the World Heritage List, should the current project be approved and implemented.”

Liverpool Waters would feature a 55-storey tower.

Liverpool Waters would feature a 55-storey tower.

Unesco has previously suggested that Liverpool could lose its heritage status if the proposed scheme is built but inclusion on the list of heritage in danger would be a further warning to the city about the implications of the project.

Unesco visited the city last year to assess the impact of the proposed project. It said: “If the proposed Liverpool Waters scheme as outlined during the mission would be implemented, the World Heritage property would be irreversibly damaged, due to a serious deterioration of its architectural and town-planning coherence, a serious loss of historical authenticity, and an important loss of cultural significance.

“It strongly recommends that the three principal stakeholders, being Liverpool City Council, Peel Holdings and English Heritage, reconvene around the table and work out an adjusted scheme.”

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Readers' comments (22)

  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    This shockingly vulgar building might be suitable for Dubai but it certainly isn't for Liverpool. It is in intriguing to speculate about the process that led to its approval. Now that Unesco has threatened to withdraw World Heritage status from Liverpool because of it, those who gave this approval should hang their heads in shame; but I expect they don't know what shame is.

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  • It sounds like Unesco is trying to blackmail Liverpool city council.

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  • But what benefit is World Heritage Status? Are we really saying people decide to visit or not just because of a few words? Why does it matter?

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  • Why let the global corduroy mafia (aka Unesco!), screw things up by letting them designate it in the first place. All the WHS designation of Bath has done is create a paranoid and extremely mediocre group of planners : see Southgate, Rail Station, past and recent hotels etc etc. Zero REAL benefit and too many issues to deal with in an intelligent manner. These facts don’t mitigate the Chapman Taylor horror above, but we have to put up with their atrocious Southgate Shopping : spread the love around?????????

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    It's also interesting to note that every criticism of new developments in Liverpool immediately attracts a flurry of rebuttals from those who are directly responsible for them, or their lackeys.

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  • Re. The comment regarding rebuttals and 'lackeys' - perhaps pause for a moment to consider what is ACTUALLY going to happen...... The wording from UNESCO is very clear 'Approved AND implemented'. The tall aspects of the proposals are at least 10-15 years off. All involved are sensible, level headed grown-ups, all capable of dialogue and mediation. Maybe if you took more time to understand the process you would see that everyone is likely to end up with what they want and WHS status will be safe.Oh, and by the way, it is of course an OUTLINE application, not a building proposal.

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    Sensible, level headed grown-ups, all capable of dialogue and mediation would understand the importance of Unesco World Heritage Listing, which is very difficult to get and whose removal would be profoundly disgraceful. It is clear from some of this correspondence that the future development of the great city of LIverpool is in the hands of people who neither know what Unesco stands for, nor care.

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  • Robert Park

    Peter. Come on, that's a little disingenious. Are you saying that we shouldn't be too worried about this project (that you have worked on?) because it is only an outline application, so it might not happen. But if it does happen, it will be at some time in the future, so it doesn't really matter?

    Are you imagining that in fifteen years we won't care about world heritage? We'll be too busy zipping around on mono-rails, and eating rehydrated fruit to be concerned with the culture of our cities?

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  • what else is liverpool offering?? this WHT is vitally important for it to continue to be anything more than a university town which once used to be important.

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  • Places are inscribed as World Heritage Sites after application, not imposed from afar by UNESCO. In applying for such status, countries / owners of such sites are expected to look after them appropriately, as they 'belong' to all the people of the world. Like all contracts, break it and there can be penalties.

    Proposing putting Liverpool on the Danger list is only a first step. UNESCO does try to work to mitigate damage; removal from the WHS list is a final resort, and only if it is felt the Outstanding Universal Value of a site is damaged too much for it to remain on the list, as happened at Elbe Valley, Dresden.

    This proposed development should be called in for Public Inquiry.

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