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MP calls for UNESCO world heritage status for Lea Valley

Local Democracy Reporting Service

River Lea

A London MP wants a park to be named a World Heritage Site alongside wonders like the Grand Canyon.

Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, is supporting Lea Valley Heritage Alliance's bid to get the Lea Valley added to the list of World Heritage Sites.

If it is successful, it will be on the same list as the Galapagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.

Mr Duncan Smith said: "Having visited sites that form part of Lea Valley's diverse industrial heritage, I am determined to support the Heritage Association's aspiration in wanting to attain global recognition.

"To see Lea Valley recognised around the world as such a vital part of the UK'S industrial revolution that so changed the way we live, would be a significant achievement. The purpose is that future generations of children will learn of the historical importance of our area and as they do their lives will be enriched."

The Lea Valley Heritage Alliance, an organisation based in Chingford, says Lea Valley contains several sites of special scientific interest and an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The area is also home to more than 100 world-first industrial achievements, the highest concentration in a single location anywhere in the world; including the first British aeroplane, the first electric light bulbs used in houses, the first beer that could be transported and the first sale of petrol.

The Alliance believes the Lea Valley and its innovations have made an outstanding universal contribution to humanity, making it worthy of joining the 1,073 locations across 167 United Nations' member states on the UNESCO list.

Unesco to recommend Liverpool retains heritage status

A recommendation that Liverpool should retain its World Heritage Status has been welcomed by the city's council.

Liverpool's waterfront features the landmark civic buildings known as Three Graces

The status is under threat after Unesco raised concerns about the impact of the Liverpool Waters scheme, a planned £5bn waterfront redevelopment.

But an initial report published by Unesco and heritage body Icomos, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, is recommending Liverpool is not deleted from the World Heritage list.

The city’s status will be discussed by the World Heritage Committee at their annual summit in Bahrain at the end of this month.

Liverpool Waters was approved in 2012 and includes plans to regenerate 60 hectares of dockland with apartments and a cruise liner terminal.