Liverpool

Liverpool sets out plan preserve World Heritage status

The Pier Head
Image caption Liverpool's waterfront features the landmark civic buildings known as Three Graces

A £5bn regeneration plan on Liverpool's historic waterfront is to be reviewed after the project put the city's World Heritage status under threat.

Unesco raised concerns about the impact of the Liverpool Waters scheme, adding the site to its danger list in 2012.

Developer Peel has now said there is "no likelihood" of the project being developed as originally planned.

Liverpool City Council has also proposed a raft of measures aimed at preserving the city's heritage status.

They could include new planning guidelines and a height policy for buildings.

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

However, Unesco expressed "deep concern" about the 30-year project, and said the development could affect the character of the area.

Image copyright Peel Land and Property
Image caption A previous artist's impression of how the waterfront might look after the planned £5bn development

The city council has responded by commissioning a report, which will be discussed by the authority's cabinet ahead of it being examined by Unesco.

A number of the proposed measures are already under way, including the creation of legal guidelines to protect the World Heritage site.

Other suggestions include the creation of a Liverpool World Heritage Trust and the development of a communication strategy aimed at developers.

Mayor Joe Anderson said World Heritage status is of "great importance" to the city.

"This report shows in great detail the lengths Liverpool has already gone and will continue to go, to balance the needs of a growing city whilst protecting our World Heritage Status," he said.

However, Liberal Democrat opposition leader Richard Kemp said the council had been forced into performing a U-turn, claiming World Heritage Status had not been a priority in the past.

Image caption The Royal Liver Building at night, with Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral visible on the right

Mr Kemp said the mayor's "frequently expressed view" was that the status was only "a plaque on the wall in the Town Hall".

He welcomed the review, which he said would "recognise the history of the area and its potential for using that physical past as the foundations for a strong future".

Liverpool received World Heritage status in 2004. It covers various parts of the city including the Pier Head, Ropeworks and William Brown Street.

Dresden in Germany is the only location to have lost its World Heritage status.

The report will go before the council's cabinet on 23 February.

It will then be examined by Unesco's World Heritage committee at a meeting in July, ahead of a decision on Liverpool's World Heritage status.

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