City council grants planning permission for development scheme at World Heritage site “Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City”
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).
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,
2. Expresses its extreme concern at the proposed development of Liverpool Waters in terms of the potential impact of its dense, high and mid-rise buildings on the form and design of the historic docks and thus on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
3. Notes that the independent Impact Assessment commissioned by English Heritage clearly sets out the significantly damaging negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
4. Also notes that the proposed development is not in compliance with the property Management Plan nor with the Liverpool Urban Development Plan;
5. Urges the State Party to ensure that these proposals are not approved, as failure to do so could lead to consideration of loss of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
6. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission, as soon as possible, to assess planning procedures and the overall development strategies for the property;
7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.Read more about the decision