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; February 2015: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Advisory mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 26 January 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1150/documents/. The report addressed issues raised by the World Heritage Committee in relation to the Liverpool Waters development project and informed that all the authorities involved and the developer of the project have put in place measures to address the concerns raised by the Committee.

The revision of the Management Plan, which is currently underway, is seen by the State Party as an opportunity to refresh the vision for the property as a whole.

The report summarized the progress made in improving the state of conservation of the property through the repair and re-use of a number of outstanding historic buildings, previously at risk. The ongoing revision of the Local Plan to update the necessary policies for the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the effort in promoting wider understanding of the World Heritage property are also mentioned.

In addition, at the invitation of the State Party, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission took place on 24-25 February 2015. The purpose of the mission was to undertake consultations with the State Party to see whether a final Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and corrective measures could be agreed. The mission background was the first draft of the DSOCR prepared by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS and transmitted to the State Party on 29 April 2013, and a second draft prepared by the State Party on 15 April 2014 in coordination with and agreed by the property’s key stakeholders. ICOMOS considered this second DSOCR to be a ‘statement of process’, inconclusive as to the removal of threats to the property. The Advisory mission report is also available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1150/documents.

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

The Advisory mission confirmed that the serious concern of the World Heritage Committee over the potential threat of the Liverpool Waters development scheme on the OUV is recognized by all the authorities and stakeholders.  The mission considered that, while there had been a number of significant achievements in protecting the OUV of the property through adaptive reuse, cthe City Council is yet to complete the comprehensive measures to eliminate the threats to the OUV; in particular, the issue of the mid- and high-rise buildings of the Liverpool Waters development project has yet to be resolved. At the current stage of the planning process, this can only be resolved with the pro-active negotiations of the three principal stakeholders (Liverpool City Council, the developer and English Heritage).

As Liverpool Waters is a 30-year long-term development project, it is likely to become an evolving concept in response to changing contexts. Nonetheless, the mission noted that the design drawings are currently being understood as plans for implementation. Concerning the Liverpool Waters development area (located partly within the property and partly in the buffer zone),  the authorities reported that to date, no construction has  started on site. No detailed planning consent will be submitted in 2015 for the Central Docks and no building activity should be initiated before 2016.

After noting that there is a gap between the obligations of the State Party in safeguarding the OUV and the Liverpool City Council in addressing appropriate planning mechanisms, the mission recommended that, based on the fact that no detailed planning proposal will be submitted in 2015 for the Central Docks, the State Party should provide the World Heritage Centre with an amended DSOCR by 1 December 2015.

The amended DSOCR should be based on the World Heritage Centre’s and Advisory Bodies’ note from April 2013 and on the State Party’s reply of April 2014, and should clearly indicate:

The DSOCR should, moreover, provide comprehensive documentation concerning the management system to be put in place to integrate the public-private investment into a realistic planning process.

It is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7A.43

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.19, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes that a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property took place in February 2015 at the invitation of the State Party, and that it confirmed that all stakeholders recognize the serious concerns of the World Heritage Committee over the potential threat of the Liverpool Waters development scheme to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
  4. Endorses the conclusions of this 2015 Advisory mission, in particular the need to reduce the urban density and height of the proposed development from the maximums granted for the Liverpool Waters project;
  5. Urges the State Party to implement the mission’s recommendations for the revision of the draft Desired State of Conservation for the Removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies. In order to do so, invites the State Party to request technical assistance and guidance and jointly organize with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies a series of technical workshops;
  6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an amended DSOCR, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, it being understood that no new detailed plans affecting the property will be approved before that date;
  7. Also 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 and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  8. Decides to retain Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 39 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-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: