1.         Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (C 1150)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2004

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2012-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The proposed development of Liverpool Waters 

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress 

Corrective measures identified

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1150/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1150/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

October 2006: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; November 2011: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a)  Lack of overall management of new developments;

b)  Lack of analysis and description of the townscape characteristics relevant to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and important views related to the property and its buffer zone;

c)  Lack of clearly established maximum heights for new developments, for the backdrops of the World Heritage areas as well as along the waterfront;

d)  Lack of awareness of developers, building professionals and the wider public about the World Heritage property, its Outstanding Universal Value and requirements under the World Heritage Convention.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1150/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

On 30 January 2013, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property responding to the Decision 36 COM 7B.93 made by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012). On 27 March 2013, updated information on the decision of the Secretary of State was submitted by the State Party.

Proposed development of Liverpool Waters

It should be recalled that Liverpool Waters is a major, large scale development project that is planned to be implemented over a 30-year period in an area of 60 ha covering part of the inscribed property as well as part of its buffer zone. It stretches 2 km along the waterfront from Princes Dock up to Bramley Moore Dock and includes proposals for a cluster of tall buildings within the buffer zone.

In its report, the State Party recalled that the Liverpool City Council granted consent for the Liverpool Waters scheme, and indicated that this decision was referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as a result of English Heritage’s objection to the scheme and because of the scale of the proposed development. The State Party also reported that the developer had informed that, in the event that the current proposal is not approved, it may decide to abandon attempts to regenerate the area and continue with current uses that do not require planning consent.

The State Party reported that the application was referred to the Secretary of State in October 2012. At the time of the submission of the State Party’s State of Conservation Report, no decision had yet been taken by the Secretary of State. On 27 March 2013, however, the State Party submitted additional information, reporting that the Secretary of State, on 4 March 2013, decided not to call in the case. With the decision not to intervene, there are no further legal obstacles to moving forward with the Liverpool Waters scheme. The Liverpool City Council may now confirm its consent for the development scheme and the developer could then proceed with implementation. 

In its Decision 36 COM 7B.93, the Committee took note of the report of the joint reactive monitoring mission which had concluded that, in terms of visual perception, the redevelopment scheme would fragment and isolate the different dock areas, instead of integrating them into one continuous historic urban landscape. The mission therefore concluded that, if the proposed Liverpool Waters scheme as outlined were to 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 also noted that the proposed development in the buffer zone would result in the modification of the functional hierarchy and morphology expressed by the port circulation system (river – sluices – dock – water basins), as well as by the historical typologies of the port industrial structures and services, thus affecting the conditions of authenticity.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

Noting the decision of the Secretary of State not to review the Liverpool Waters scheme at the national level, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recognize that there remains no legal obstacle to moving forward with the development project. They reiterate the findings of the joint reactive monitoring mission of November 2011, as expressed in the opinion of the World Heritage Committee in Decision 36 COM 7B.93, that the proposed development of Liverpool Waters constitutes a potential threat to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. They also note that there have been no actions to remove the potential danger as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session. They consider that if the proposed Liverpool Waters development is implemented as currently planned, it would irreversibly damage the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value and the conditions of integrity that warranted inscription, and could lead to the potential deletion of the property from the World Heritage List.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies further draw attention to the fact that the State Party has submitted neither a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOC), nor a proposal for corrective measures to reach that DSOC, as requested by the World Heritage Committee. In the supplementary information submitted on 27 March 2013, however, the State Party has expressed its willingness to work with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies to elaborate a DSOC and corrective measures with a time frame for their implementation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. In April 2013, consultations have been taken up by the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies accordingly. Taking into account the continued threat to the property, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recommend that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7A.35

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7A,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.93 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Also recalling the results of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission of November 2011,

4.  Notes the information provided by the State Party that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government decided not to call in the Liverpool Waters development for consideration at the national level, and that the Liverpool City Council had granted consent to the application submitted by the developer;

5.  Reiterates its serious concern over the potential threat of the proposed Liverpool Waters development on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and also notes that the implementation of the development, as currently planned, would irreversibly damage the attributes and conditions of integrity that warranted inscription, and could lead to the potential deletion of the property from the World Heritage List;

6.  Therefore, strongly urges the State Party to reconsider the proposed development to ensure the continued coherence of the architectural and town-planning attributes, and the continued safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property including the conditions of authenticity and integrity;

7.  Further notes that the State Party has not yet developed a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and a set of corrective measures and requests the State Party to pursue its consultations with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies to elaborate a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger along with a set of corrective measures, and a time frame for their implementation;

8.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , 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 38th session in 2014;

9.  Decides to retain Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) on the World Heritage List in Danger .

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-13/37.COM/7A, WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add and WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add.
  2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: