Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Commercial development
  • Governance
  • High impact research / monitoring activities
  • Housing
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Society's valuing of heritage
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Governance: Lack of overall management of new developments
  • High impact research/monitoring activities: 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 zoneved
  • Legal framework: Lack of established maximum heights for new developments along the waterfront and for the backdrops of the World Heritage property
  • Social/cultural uses of heritage 
  • Buildings and development: Commercial development, housing, interpretative and visitor facilities
  • Lack of adequate management system/management plan
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 2018
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

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 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 31 January 2018, the State Party transmitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1150/documents/, as well as a proposed Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and a set of corrective measures.

Following dialogue with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, the State Party transmitted on 26 April 2018 a revised draft DSOCR and set of corrective measures. The report and the revised draft DSOCR provide information on the following issues:

  • A proposed interpretation and communication strategy focused on positive stories of heritage-led regeneration and on raising awareness of the benefits of World Heritage status on tourism, the economy and well-being;
  • Adoption of the Management Plan by the Mayor’s Cabinet in 2017;
  • Development of a height (‘skyline’) policy and proposed review in 2018-2019 of the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for inclusion in the draft Local Plan;
  • A draft of the Local Plan expected to be submitted for public examination in May 2018;
  • Continued efforts by the State Party to work in partnership with Liverpool City Council (LCC), Historic England, and developers to ensure that planning decisions are informed by Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA);
  • Creation of a Mayoral Task Force of independent experts to provide advice that will assist in avoiding the removal of the property from the World Heritage List;
  • Commitment of all stakeholders and increasing engagement of civil society, in particular Engage Liverpool and Merseyside Civic Society;
  • Additional measures taken to reinforce planning permission procedure, including required neighbourhood masterplans detailing development briefs that re-set maximum heights for individual plots and measures to ensure the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and heritage assets are protected and enhanced including views from, within and to the property;
  • The neighbourhood masterplan for Princes Dock submitted to LCC for approval and the masterplan for Central Dock currently under preparation and being guided by the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach.

The report indicates also that in the opinion of the State Party, the developments within Liverpool Waters to date have not caused harm to the OUV and that Peel Holdings (the Liverpool Waters developer) will not fully implement the illustrative masterplan that accompanied the 2013 planning consent. The report further underlines that no planning permissions for developments that may have a negative impact have been allowed other than the outline consent for Liverpool Waters, which have been guided by the 2009 SPD to be revised in 2018.The DSOCR seeks to ensure that corrective measures that prevent potential harm in the future to OUV are put in place.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The January 2018 DSOCR and its revision (April 2018) following ICOMOS Technical review (March 2018) offer a significant improvement in approach and direction relative to previous draft DSOCR iterations. The DSOCR outlines overall attributes of the property, which contribute to its OUV, and acknowledges the importance of their protection, as well as the significance of the context of the property and its Buffer Zone. Seven objectives are set out as the ‘Desired state of conservation for removal’, followed by 10 proposed corrective measures, together with a timeline for their implementation and proposed progress indicators.

It is promising that Peel Holdings (Liverpool Waters developer) has recently confirmed to LCC that there is no likelihood of the scheme coming forward in the same form of the Outline Planning Consent (2013-2042), and a new master planning process has started taking heritage considerations into account including HUL approach.

The proposed DSOCR provides a clear indication of intent by the State Party; however, as the State Party has itself foreshadowed, the DSOCR and corrective measures are not yet complete and therefore not in a form that might be considered for adoption by the Committee, as requested in Decision 41 COM 7A.22. Specifically, the current draft DSOCR does not yet incorporate sufficient specific commitment regarding development controls (including specific view line and skyline controls) and reduction to the existing outline planning permission to remove the threats to the authenticity and integrity (and therefore to the OUV) of the property. The DSOCR, as currently proposed, relies heavily on future guideline documents, which are still in preparation, namely, the Local Plan, the Neighbourhood Masterplans, the height (‘skyline’) policy, and the proposed revision to the SPD. Therefore, in order to carry out a full assessment of the adequacy of the proposed DSOCR, it is necessary to assess the content of these documents and to establish a clear commitment by the State Party to limit the quantity, location and size of allowable built form, as specifically requested in Decision 41 COM 7A.22.

In order for the World Heritage Committee to consider approving a final DSOCR, the State Party should consider an alternative process that involves: 1) defining first the specific desired outcome to which the Local Plan, the height (‘skyline’) policy, the SPD and neighbourhood masterplans could then be aligned and, 2) that these documents be then reviewed together with the proposed DSOCR. Those documents would need to be reviewed and agreed by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS before they are endorsed by the relevant State Party agencies and adopted by LCC. Furthermore, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its previous request to the State Party to adopt a moratorium for new buildings within the property and its buffer zone, until the DSOCR is completely finalized and approved.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7A.7
Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (C 1150)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7A.35, 38 COM 7A.19, 39 COM 7A.43, 40 COM 7A.31, and 41 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 38th (Doha, 2014), 39th (Bonn, 2015), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Recalls that it has repeatedly expressed its serious concerns over the impact of the proposed Liverpool Waters developments in the form presented in the approved Outline Planning Consent (2013-2042);
  4. Acknowledges the increasing engagement of civil society in the care of the World Heritage property and its status, in particular the organization “Engage Liverpool”;
  5. Although noting that the State Party has proposed a draft Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), including a set of corrective measures, a timeframe for implementation, as well as indicators; also notes that comprehensive assessment of the proposed DSOCR by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies is not feasible at this stage, as the DSCOR is not yet complete and relies on the content of additional documents, which are yet to be prepared by the State Party, including the Local Plan, the revised Supplementary Planning Document, the neighbourhood masterplans, and the height (‘skyline’) policy;
  6. Further notes that Peel Holdings (Liverpool Waters developer) has recently confirmed to Liverpool City Council that there is no likelihood of the scheme coming forward in the same form of the Outline Planning Consent, and that Peel Holdings is undertaking a comprehensive review of the scheme and drawing up new neighbourhood masterplans taking full account of heritage considerations and recorded commentary by the World Heritage Committee;
  7. Reiterates its previous request to the State Party to adopt a moratorium for new buildings within the property and its buffer zone, until the Local Plan, the revised Supplementary Planning Document, the neighbourhood masterplans, and the height (‘skyline’) policy are all carefully reviewed and endorsed by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and the DSOCR is completely finalized and approved by the World Heritage Committee;
  8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, the Local Plan, the revised Supplementary Planning Document, the neighbourhood masterplans, and the height (skyline) policy, or any other relevant document, for preliminary examination by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2019 a revised DSOCR and a report on the state of conservation of the property for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019 and, in this context, recalls its position expressed in Decision 41 COM 7A.22 - Paragraph 11, in case the State Party does not:
    1. Provide substantive commitments to limitation on the quantity, location and size of allowable built form,
    2. Link the strategic city development vision to a regulatory planning document,
    3. Submit a fully-complete DSOCR and corrective measures in a form that might be considered for adoption by the Committee;
  10. Decides to retain the Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
42 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/18/42.COM/7A, WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add and WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 42 COM 7A.1)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 42 COM 7A.2)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 42 COM 7A.5)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 42 COM 7A.8)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.45)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 42 COM 7A.9)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.46)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.47)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.48)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.49)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.50)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.51)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 42 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.44)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.40)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 42 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 42 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 42 COM 7A.21)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 42 COM 7A.22)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 42 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 42 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 42 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 42 COM 7A.26)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 42 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 42 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 42 COM 7A.14)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 42 COM 7A.15)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 42 COM 7A.3)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 42 COM 7A.54)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 42 COM 7A.27)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 42 COM 7A.29)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 42 COM 7A.28)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 42 COM 7A.10)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 42 COM 7A.11)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.55)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 42 COM 7A.6)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 42 COM 7A.41)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 42 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 42 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 42 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 42 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 42 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 42 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 42 COM 7A.16)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 42 COM 7A.7)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.56)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.42)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 42 COM 7A.4)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 42 COM 7A.12)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 42 COM 7A.37)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 42 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 42 COM 7A.39)
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7A.7

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7A.35, 38 COM 7A.19, 39 COM 7A.43, 40 COM 7A.31, and 41 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 38th (Doha, 2014), 39th (Bonn, 2015), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Recalls that it has repeatedly expressed its serious concerns over the impact of the proposed Liverpool Waters developments in the form presented in the approved Outline Planning Consent (2013-2042);
  4. Acknowledges the increasing engagement of civil society in the care of the World Heritage property and its status, in particular the organization “Engage Liverpool”;
  5. Although noting that the State Party has proposed a draft Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), including a set of corrective measures, a timeframe for implementation, as well as indicators; also notes that comprehensive assessment of the proposed DSOCR by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies is not feasible at this stage, as the DSCOR is not yet complete and relies on the content of additional documents, which are yet to be prepared by the State Party, including the Local Plan, the revised Supplementary Planning Document, the neighbourhood masterplans, and the height (‘skyline’) policy;
  6. Further notes that Peel Holdings (Liverpool Waters developer) has recently confirmed to Liverpool City Council that there is no likelihood of the scheme coming forward in the same form of the Outline Planning Consent, and that Peel Holdings is undertaking a comprehensive review of the scheme and drawing up new neighbourhood masterplans taking full account of heritage considerations and recorded commentary by the World Heritage Committee;
  7. Reiterates its previous request to the State Party to adopt a moratorium for new buildings within the property and its buffer zone, until the Local Plan, the revised Supplementary Planning Document, the neighbourhood masterplans, and the height (‘skyline’) policy are all carefully reviewed and endorsed by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and the DSOCR is completely finalized and approved by the World Heritage Committee;
  8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, the Local Plan, the revised Supplementary Planning Document, the neighbourhood masterplans, and the height (skyline) policy, or any other relevant document, for preliminary examination by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2019 a revised DSOCR and a report on the state of conservation of the property for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019 and, in this context, recalls its position expressed in Decision 41 COM 7A.22 - Paragraph 11, in case the State Party does not:
    1. Provide substantive commitments to limitation on the quantity, location and size of allowable built form,
    2. Link the strategic city development vision to a regulatory planning document,
    3. Submit a fully-complete DSOCR and corrective measures in a form that might be considered for adoption by the Committee;
  10. Decides to retain Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2018
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 (2018) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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.