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Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Commercial development
  • Housing
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of overall management of new developments;
  • 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;
  • Lack of clearly established maximum heights for new developments, for the backdrops of the World Heritage areas as well as along the waterfront;
  • 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.
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 for the property

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In progress
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

October 2006: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; November 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/1150/documents/.

The report pointed out that, while the overall Liverpool Waters scheme received irrevocable approval, no concrete steps have yet been taken towards its implementation. It explained that detailed master plans for each phase of the 30-year-scheme as well as detailed proposals would need to be elaborated first and reviewed against numerous legal obligations and planning conditions before permission for actual execution would be granted. The State Party considered that this process would still allow addressing the Committee’s concerns and requests. It further informed that design and conservation bodies are being set up, which include the City Council, the developer Peel Holdings and English Heritage, to ensure the respect of the obligations and conditions for planning permissions.

In its letter of 31 January 2014, the State Party confirmed that it had received a first draft of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) prepared by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS on 29 April 2013. On 15 April 2014, the State Party submitted a draft DSOCR prepared on its behalf by English Heritage in coordination with and agreed by the property’s key stakeholders, City Council, Peel Holdings and the chair of the property’s World Heritage Steering Group. The State Party explained that the draft DSOCR focuses on those arrangements and controls that the English legal system allows within the terms of the non-cancellable planning permission. The draft DSOCR is currently being reviewed by the Advisory Bodies in view of its presentation to the Committee at its 39th session.

On 15 April 2014, the State Party also expressed its willingness to consider organising a consultative seminar that would gather the key stakeholders, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre.

Furthermore, the State Party reported on concerns about an approved demolition scheme for an area within the World Heritage property (Ropewalks area), for which a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) had been elaborated, based on which English Heritage recommended to refuse consent.

Finally, the State Party also informed about achievements in restoring and converting significant landmark buildings of Liverpool to new functions, in particular hotel and conference uses.

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

The findings of the joint reactive monitoring mission of November 2011, as expressed in the opinion of the World Heritage Committee in its previous Decisions, indicated that the Liverpool Waters development scheme, if implemented as currently planned, would irreversibly damage the attributes of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the conditions of integrity that warranted inscription, and could lead to the potential deletion of the property from the World Heritage List.  

The State Party expects detailed master plans for each phase of the overall Liverpool Waters scheme to be developed as well as detailed proposals for each plan, all of which would need specific planning permission; it also considers that this process could address the Committee’s concerns. This process would need to clearly define how this can be achieved based on a revised overall vision for the entire development area.

It is noted that the State Party provided a draft DSOCR and a proposal for corrective measures, and also expressed its willingness to take concrete next steps to work in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies. It is recalled that the corrective measures must be deliverable and clearly linked to an overall vision for the property.

While the State Party submitted a draft DSOCR and a set of corrective measures, it is considered that there have been no further actions to remove the potential danger as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th and 37th sessions. The property is therefore considered under continued threat and it is consequently recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.19
Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (C 1150)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 36 COM 7B.93 and 37 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) sessions respectively,
  3. Also recalling the results of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission of November 2011,
  4. Reiterates its serious concern over the potential threat of the Liverpool Waters development scheme on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and 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;
  5. Also notes the information provided by the State Party, and requests it to:
    1. submit comprehensive documentation for any proposed detailed master plans and detailed planning proposals, before they are adopted, together with an overall vision for the property over-arching such master plans, as well as details of the draft legal obligations and draft planning conditions for granting permission for any future development proposals,
    2. ensure that the process whereby master plans and detailed plans for the Liverpool Waters scheme, when developed, takes into consideration the concerns of the World Heritage Committee;
  6. Strongly urges the State Party to consider all measures that would allow changes to the extent and scope of the proposed Liverpool Waters scheme to ensure the continued coherence of the architectural and town-planning attributes, and the continued safeguarding of the OUV of the property including the conditions of authenticity and integrity;
  7. Further notes with appreciation that the State Party submitted a proposal for the 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 expressed its willingness to pursue consultations with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in view of its finalisation for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  9. Decides to retain Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) on the World Heritage List in Danger.
38 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (retained sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-14/38.COM/7A and WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 38 COM 7A.14)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 38 COM 7A.15)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 38 COM 7A.31)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 38 COM 7A.21)
  • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.32)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 38 COM 7A.1)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 38 COM 7A.16)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 38 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 38 COM 7A.28)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 38 COM 7A.2)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 38 COM 7A.3)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 38 COM 7A.4)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 38 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 38 COM 7A.24)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 38 COM 7A.25)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 38 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 38 COM 7A.5)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 38 COM 7A.20)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 38 COM 7A.22)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 38 COM 7A.18)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 38 COM 7A.29)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 38 COM 7A.26)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 38 COM 7A.19)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.30)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 38 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 38 COM 7A.13)
Draft Decision:   38 COM 7A.19

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.  Recalling Decisions 36 COM 7B.93 and 37 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) sessions respectively,

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

4.  Reiterates its serious concern over the potential threat of the Liverpool Waters development scheme on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and 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;

5.  Also notes the information provided by the State Party, and requests it to:

a)  submit comprehensive documentation for any proposed detailed master plans and detailed planning proposals, before they are adopted, together with an overall vision for the property over-arching such master plans, as well as details of the draft legal obligations and draft planning conditions for granting permission for any future development proposals,

b)  ensure that the process whereby master plans and detailed plans for the Liverpool Waters scheme, when developed, takes into consideration the concerns of the World Heritage Committee;  

6.  Strongly urges the State Party to consider all measures that would allow changes to the extent and scope of the proposed Liverpool Waters scheme to ensure the continued coherence of the architectural and town-planning attributes, and the continued safeguarding of the OUV of the property including the conditions of authenticity and integrity;

7.  Further notes with appreciation that the State Party submitted a proposal for the 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 expressed its willingness to pursue consultations with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in view of its finalisation for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

8.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

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

Report year: 2014
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2012-2021
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.


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