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Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Commercial development
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Resumption of mining activities
  • Inappropriate development (particularly a new supermarket built at Hayle Harbour)
  • Potential impact of new development projects
  • Improvements to the planning tools and approval processes not yet completed and implemented
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

October 2013: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission; January 2015: Joint ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 29 January 2016, the State Party provided information to the World Heritage Centre on improvements to the planning tools and state of conservation of the site, and on 29 November 2016, a state of conservation report. Both documents are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1215/documents. The report addresses the Committee’s requests and provides information on:

  • Improved planning tools, development guidance, working practices, decision-making processes, Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and project application appraisal, specifically:
    • Production by the three local authorities, in partnership with Historic England, of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The SPD, adopted by Cornwall Council, will be used as interim advice by the other local authorities pending adoption, following revision to the applicable Local Plans,
    • Appointment of a World Heritage Site Planning Advice Officer (PAO) to advise local authorities and other relevant parties,
    • Creation of a new working practices protocol between Cornwall Council and Historic England, which focuses on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), requires HIAs, and improves planning processes,
    • Organization of training events for Municipal Councillors and planning officers to raise awareness;
  • Development in Hayle Harbour: the State Party recognizes that the supermarket has a negative impact on the property’s OUV. Regarding the South Quay development, this can only proceed once the detailed design is approved. To guide the redesign of this project, outline principles have been agreed between Historic England, Cornwall Council, the PAO and the developer. The State Party proposes to invite an Advisory mission to help guide the design;
  • South Crofty Mine: a new operator, Strongbow Explorations Incorporated (SEI), who purchased the interest in the mine, maintains mining permission, and has entered into a Planning Performance Agreement with Cornwall Council. SEI is raising funds, and after three and half years the mine could resume operation. Cornwall Council and the State Party have discussed the recommendations of previous Reactive Monitoring missions with SEI, who will reconsider design changes. Current pre-conditions related to heritage comprise archaeological work, including an archaeological watching brief, and agreement on boundary treatment. Historic England and the PAO are developing cost-effective mitigation measures and will continue to liaise with SEI;
  • North Quay and Foundry Car Park housing developments, in Hayle Harbour and Tavistock, currently in various stages of planning and consent, were examined by Historic England and Impact Assessments have been commissioned.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

At the time of inscription, the ICOMOS Evaluation highlighted threats arising from uncontrolled development in priority areas for economic growth such as Hayle Harbour, as well as the need for sensitive planning. Ten years later, the 2015 Reactive Monitoring mission reported that “the supermarket development in Hayle Harbour had a negative impact on the OUV of the property and […] could warrant an inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in and of itself”. Furthermore, it recommended that “the State Party immediately halts the implementation of the consented development on the remainder of the South Quay […] if the development continued it would be recommended that the Committee consider the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 41st session in 2017.”

The State Party and local authorities have recognized negative impacts on OUV caused by the completed supermarket in Hayle Harbour, and have made progress to ensure future developments do not have similar impacts. Actions have been taken to appoint the PAO, prepare and endorse new planning and guidance tools, and implement a new working practices protocol.

However, even though planning tools have been improved, the situation remains unresolved. Some local plans and the SPD which form part of the proposed strategy for preserving the OUV remain incomplete. Stronger protection tools and more detailed planning outlines for the ten serial property components should be established to strengthen the SPD and planning processes for sensitive areas, especially for regeneration. The new working practices protocol should be extended to the two other local planning councils.

The State Party’s invitation to undertake an Advisory mission to Hayle Harbour is welcomed. However, the scope of the mission should be broadened to advise on the revision of Local Plans and establish a firm timeframe to define detailed planning outlines.

Concerning the South Crofty Mine, it is recommended that the Committee welcome the State Party’s monitoring efforts, although it should request that the site remains under high scrutiny and dialogue with the new operator is encouraged. In addition, an update of archaeological reports should be provided, as well as details of boundary treatment, planning and information on any future development, especially regarding surface elements.

The current development proposals at Hayle Harbour, South Crofty and Tavistock, and any future substantial developments in the property should be evaluated in detail to avoid or minimise and mitigate any further adverse impacts on the OUV. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit such plans for review by the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies for any issues to be addressed, well prior to any construction approval, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

The property remains at risk, and an inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger could be considered if the proposed improvements to the planning tools and approval processes outlined by the State Party are not completed, endorsed and strictly implemented.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.54
Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (C 1215)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.86, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Recalling the recommendations of the Reactive Monitoring missions of October 2013 and January 2015, urges the State Party to complete their implementation as a priority;
  4. Welcoming the State Party’s efforts for improving planning tools and their implementation in order to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), commends the State Party for the progress which has occurred and requests it to provide information to the World Heritage Centre on further improvements, finalization and implementation of the planning tools and approval processes, which will contribute to preserving the OUV of the property;
  5. Also requests the State Party to establish stronger protection tools and more detailed planning outlines for the 10 components of the property, in order to strengthen the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and the associated improved planning processes; and that these two latter be endorsed and implemented by the two other Councils responsible for local planning in the property;
  6. Welcomes the State Party’s invitation for an Advisory mission to Hayle Harbour to guide the redesign of the South Quay project and invites the State Party to broaden the scope of the mission to advise on the revision of the Local Plans and proposed timeframe to define detailed planning outlines for other areas of the property;
  7. Taking note of the new operator of the South Crofty Mine, Strongbow Explorations Incorporated (SEI), also welcomes the State Party’s monitoring efforts and further requests it to continue to keep the site under high scrutiny and maintain dialogue with SEI, and to submit an update of the archaeological reports as well as on the agreement of details of the boundary treatment and detail planning tools and information on any future development especially regarding any surface elements at the South Crofty Mine;
  8. Requests furthermore the State Party to ensure that details for any substantial future projects in the property or its immediate and wider setting, together with Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the projects on the OUV, be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019, with a view to considering, if the proposed improvements to the planning tools and approval processes outlined by the State Party are not completed, endorsed and strictly implemented, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.54

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.86, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Recalling the recommendations of the Reactive Monitoring missions of October 2013 and January 2015, urges the State Party to complete their implementation as a priority;
  4. Welcoming the State Party’s efforts for improving planning tools and their implementation in order to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), commends the State Party for the progress which has occurred and requests it to provide information to the World Heritage Centre on further improvements, finalization and implementation of the planning tools and approval processes, which will contribute to preserving the OUV of the property;
  5. Also requests the State Party to establish stronger protection tools and more detailed planning outlines for the 10 components of the property, in order to strengthen the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and the associated improved planning processes; and that these two latter be endorsed and implemented by the two other Councils responsible for local planning in the property;
  6. Welcomes the State Party’s invitation for an Advisory mission to Hayle Harbour to guide the redesign of the South Quay project and invites the State Party to broaden the scope of the mission to advise on the revision of the Local Plans and proposed timeframe to define detailed planning outlines for other areas of the property;
  7. Taking note of the new operator of the South Crofty Mine, Strongbow Explorations Incorporated (SEI), also welcomes the State Party’s monitoring efforts and further requests it to continue to keep the site under high scrutiny and maintain dialogue with SEI, and to submit an update of the archaeological reports as well as on the agreement of details of the boundary treatment and detail planning tools and information on any future development especially regarding any surface elements at the South Crofty Mine;
  8. Requests furthermore the State Party to ensure that details for any substantial future projects in the property or its immediate and wider setting, together with Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the projects on the OUV, be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019, with a view to considering, if the proposed improvements to the planning tools and approval processes outlined by the State Party are not completed, endorsed and strictly implemented, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2017
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Date of Inscription: 2006
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
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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