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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.161
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/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.94 adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the progress reported by the State Party with the updating of planning and regulatory documents for the property, including addressing and incorporating the findings of the 2017 joint ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission, and the weight afforded to the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  4. Notes the significant progress with the New London Plan and the Westminster City Plan, and requests that:
    1. the monitoring provisions in Chapter 12 of the New London Plan be strengthened to address the World Heritage status of the property and protection of OUV,
    2. the Westminster City Plan be further reviewed to address key potential development sites, and be more-closely aligned with the New London Plan, consistent with the recommendations of Historic England, and in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, prior to the finalization and adoption of these important documents;
  5. Also notes the progress made towards an updated Management Plan for the property and the State Party’s confirmation that it will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies prior to adoption;
  6. Further notes the information provided by the State Party regarding major conservation works planned through the Restoration and Renewal Project for the Palace of Westminster, and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit details, including the detailed conservation plan for the Palace of Westminster, and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) prepared in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any decision is taken or any approval is issued;
  7. While strongly supporting the concept of a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London, re-iterates its serious concerns that the proposed location in Victoria Tower Gardens, would have an unacceptable adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and therefore, also reiterates its request to the State Party to pursue alternative locations and/or designs;
  8. Also welcomes the updated database for tall buildings and advice regarding use of 3D modelling systems and also requests the State Party to advise on how these tools may contribute to the identification, prevention and management of the cumulative impacts of new tower buildings that may negatively affect the OUV of the property, and to the delineation of an appropriate buffer zone for the property;
  9. Further welcomes the role of the national heritage advisor, Historic England, in all levels of decision-making, but particularly in addressing the ongoing threat to this property posed by cumulative impacts, especially from high-rise development projects in the immediate and wider setting of the World Heritage property that may have a negative impact on its OUV, and further requests the State Party to ensure that the legal framework allows for the provided advice to more strongly influence planning decisions in favor of fully protecting the OUV of World Heritage properties;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session.
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision