Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Tower of London

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Construction proposals in the immediate vicinity of the Tower of London that could harm the setting, related vistas and integrity of the World Heritage property;
  • Lack of an in-depth visual impact study on possible impacts of development projects, as well as the lack of an approved management plan;
  • Lack of protection of the immediate surroundings of the Tower of London through an adequate and commonly agreed buffer zone.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 31 January 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/488/documents/.

In reply to the Committee’s request, the State Party reported on a number of planning guidance documents that have recently been elaborated or are in preparation. In particular, it pointed out that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) of 2012 will be complemented by a National Planning Practice Guidance including specific guidance related to World Heritage properties. It also pointed out that World Heritage properties are considered sensitive areas according to Environmental Impact regulations, which would allow requiring Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for larger-scale projects. The assessment of potential impacts on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) forms part of the overall EIA.

The State Party underlined that the immediate setting of the property is considered to be well defined through the 2010 Tower of London Local Setting Study, which has been embedded in the Local Plans of the three relevant local planning authorities, in conjunction with further guidance by the Greater London Authority. The State Party further reported that the property’s Management Plan is being revised, based on the adopted Statement of OUV and the existing guidance documents.

The State Party considered that the wider setting of the property is ensured through the above-mentioned planning and guidance documents. It emphasized its view that the urban development in the property’s wider setting should not be limited through a more detailed framework. It confirmed that it would ensure adequate cooperation of all relevant public bodies to find solutions to each project.

Annexed to its report, the State Party submitted a list of other conservation issues and relevant potential development projects. It also underlined that it looks to enhance timely communication to comply with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

It is noted that that the State Party has developed a large set of planning guidance documents and addressed the requirement for cooperation of the relevant local authorities in view of planning and decision-making related to the property. Regulations for the application of EIAs for World Heritage-relevant projects appear to have been strengthened, and the State Party looks to improve procedures linked to its obligation arising from Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. However, although the State Party considers that the immediate setting of the property is well defined through the 2010 Tower of London Local Setting Study, comments have been made previously about the limited extent of this immediate setting. There is no agreed methodology for defining the extent of the wider setting that might be subject to assessment, and no visual parameters to assess impact.

If implemented in a coordinated manner, the documents could provide a baseline for augmenting protection mechanisms for the World Heritage property as recommended by the 2011 reactive monitoring mission. While the regulatory documents and frameworks seem to be reinforced, the dynamic urban development of the metropolitan area of London requires permanent and particular attention to potentially impacting development projects. Therefore, it is suggested that the State Party continue exploring ways to define the scope and extent of the wider setting of the property and that this should be linked to the revision of the Management Plan. Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) with a specific focus on the property’s OUV should be carried out as a general rule for all larger-scale projects in the wider setting of the property, in line with the guidance developed by ICOMOS on HIA.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.35
Tower of London (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (C 488)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 35 COM 7B.114 and 36 COM 7B.91, adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011) and 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) sessions respectively,
  3. Also recalling the results of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission of December 2011,
  4. Takes note of the State Party’s efforts to strengthen the planning framework through guidance documents and enhanced coordination of the relevant planning authorities;
  5. Requests the State Party to ensure that, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, any planned larger-scale projects in the immediate and wider setting of the World Heritage property be submitted to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible, and that adequate time be allowed for thorough review of each project by the Advisory Bodies before any decision is taken;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the revised Management Plan of the World Heritage property as soon as available;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property, for review by the Advisory Bodies.
Draft Decision:    38 COM 7B.35

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decisions 35 COM 7B.114 and 36 COM 7B.91, adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011) and 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) sessions respectively,

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

4.  Takes note of the State Party’s efforts to strengthen the planning framework through guidance documents and enhanced coordination of the relevant planning authorities;

5.  Requests the State Party to ensure that, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, any planned larger-scale projects in the immediate and wider setting of the World Heritage property be submitted to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible, and that adequate time be allowed for thorough review of each project by the Advisory Bodies before any decision is taken;

6.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the revised Management Plan of the World Heritage property as soon as available;

7.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property, for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Report year: 2014
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


top