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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7B.94
Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (C 426bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.36, 39 COM 7B.87 and 41 COM 7B.55, adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014), 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes the effort of the State Party to update its planning policies, but notes with concern the continuing disconnect between policies and results regarding a heritage-led planning approach for World Heritage properties;
  4. Requests the State Party to provide as soon as possible a clear timeframe for the review of the London Plan, and to submit to the World Heritage Centre the final draft of the London Plan and the relevant parts of the borough local plans, for review by the Advisory Bodies prior to their adoption;
  5. Also requests the State Party to provide a detailed timeframe for the review of the Management Plan of the property, including the detailed conservation plan for the Palace of Westminster and the Conservation Management Plan for Westminster Abbey, and reiterates its request to finalize the review process as soon as possible and submit it to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to its adoption;
  6. Also notes that major conservation works are planned as part of a Restoration and Renewal project for the Palace of Westminster and also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit details, including Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) prepared in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on HIAs for World Heritage cultural properties, to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, as soon as these are available and before any decision is taken or approval is issued;
  7. While strongly supporting the concept of a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London, expresses concerns that the proposed monument and its underground rooms located in Victoria Tower Gardens, as currently presented, would have an unacceptable adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and therefore further requests the State Party to pursue alternative locations and/or designs;
  8. Further reiterates its request expressed in Decision 41 COM 7B.55 for the State Party to expedite the implementation of the 23 recommendations of the 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission;
  9. Acknowledges the creation of an independent charity, World Heritage UK, nevertheless, strongly advises the creation of a joint committee to help coordinate the Management of the World Heritage properties in London; similarly, urges the State Party to create an advisory committee with a strong influence on decision making, which will contribute to the management of all World Heritage properties in the United Kingdom;
  10. Strongly recommends that the State Party reinforce the role of the national heritage advisor, Historic England, in all levels of decision-making, and especially when determining if a project application should be called in by the Secretary of State, and notify the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, of projects in the immediate and wider setting of the World Heritage property that may have a negative impact on OUV;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision