Unesco officials could strip city of its status if they feel new developments are threatening heritage sites

Liverpool’s World Heritage status hangs in the balance this week as inspectors descend on the city to inspect controversial new developments.

Unesco officials, who have the power to strip Liverpool of its World Heritage title months before it is set to become Europe’s capital of culture, started talking to clients, architects and project managers on key developments in the city this morning.

The officials will spend three days in the city inspecting site work and plans for, amongst others, Mann Island, Paradise Street, Ropewalks and the St George’s Hall restoration.

Those meeting the officials to discuss the developments are thought to include Urban Splash’s chief executive Jonathan Faulkingham, Paradise Street’s project director Rod Holmes and project architect for Mann Island Matt Brook.

The officials are preparing a report, due out on 15 Dec, on the progress the city is making with new schemes and whether they are appropriate for the WH site.

Councillor Bernie Turner, executive member for heritage, defended the council’s choices on new projects.

He said: “There will always have to be a balance between preserving architectural heritage and new development. We are getting the balance right and we can demonstrate that the management plan we have agreed for the World Heritage Site will preserve its unique architectural flavour while allowing other developments of the right quality to go ahead.”

Liverpool was named as a World Heritage site in 2004 - based on its role as a maritime mercantile city at a time of Britain’s greatest global influence.

The area covered includes the waterfront and docks, the commercial district and the cultural quarter.