Unesco's 'final warning' for Liverpool's World Heritage status

Liverpool's waterfront Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Liverpool was granted World Heritage Status in 2004 for parts of the city, including the Three Graces.

Liverpool could lose its World Heritage status next year over the city's £5.5bn waterfront development, Unesco has warned.

It has been on Unesco's danger list for five years but this is the first time a date for removal has been earmarked.

The United Nations' cultural organisation expressed "deep concern" over the Liverpool Waters scheme.

A spokesman for Liverpool City Council said the city has "made great strides" to protect the site.

Liverpool was granted World Heritage Status in 2004 for a parts of the city, including the iconic Three Graces.

'No harmful decisions'

Unesco has expressed concerns about development in the area following the approval of Liverpool Waters in 2012, which would regenerate 60 hectares of dockland with apartments and a cruise liner terminal.

In a report ahead of a Unesco meeting next month, the government has been urged to "reverse course and stop the granting of planning permissions which have a negative impact".

The government submitted a conservation report in January that said "no decisions have been taken which are likely to cause harm".

But Unesco said it does not have "appropriate corrective measures" and has asked for a revised report by 1 February next year.

If an updated report is not suitable, Unesco said it will consider Liverpool's deletion from the list at its meeting in 2018.

Campaign group Save Britain's Heritage said this was a final warning for Liverpool.

'A £13bn renaissance'

Henrietta Billings, its director, said: "International heritage status doesn't just put Liverpool on the world stage, it brings cultural tourism, urban regeneration, and sustainable visitor attractions.

"Losing it because of crass planning decisions would be an international embarrassment as well as a hugely costly mistake."

The city council said it will share a new management plan with Unesco at the meeting in July.

"Liverpool is a city undergoing a £13bn renaissance and the right balance needs to be found where regeneration and conservation can complement each other," a council spokesman said.

The German city of Dresden is the only location to have lost its World Heritage status.

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