On 6 March 2012, Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee granted outline planning permission for the Peel Holdings £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme. The permission is subject to the signing of a legal agreement and has to be referred to the Government which will decide whether a public inquiry will be held.

Experts from UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) undertook a reactive monitoring mission from 14 to 16 November 2011 to assess planning procedures and the overall development strategies for the World Heritage property “Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City”. 

The mission report, together with its conclusions and recommendations, was transmitted to State Party of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 23 January 2012.

While the mission acknowledged the need for regeneration of the World Heritage property, at the same time it provided clear recommendations concerning the proposed development and referred particularly to the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape.

The mission report together with a report on the latest developments will be submitted to the World Heritage Committee which will examine the property's state of conservation at the World Heritage Committee's 36th session (Saint Petersburg, 24 June - 6 July 2012).