Report warns of ‘irreversible’ damage’ to historic sites ahead of crunch meeting next month
Liverpool’s World Heritage status could be scrapped as soon as next month after a Unesco committee said that too many modern developments had been built in the city’s historic waterfront.
A new report by the World Heritage Committee has recommended the city lose its World Heritage status ahead of a meeting in July when a final decision will be made.
The report said “with deep regret” that new developments around the listed waterfront had caused a “significant loss to its authenticity and integrity” and that the process of further deterioration is “irreversible”.
It said it was the result of “inadequate governance processes, mechanisms and regulations” for new developments, and that obligations to protect and conserve the site had not been fulfilled.
The city has been threatened with demotion for over a decade because of major developments, including the Liverpool Waters projects.
The report also mentioned Everton’s new £500m Dan Meis-designed stadium, which will require part of the grade II-listed Bramley-Moore Dock to be filled in.
Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson said removing the city’s World Heritage status was “hugely unfair” and invited committee members to visit Bramley-Moore Dock to “see it with their own eyes”.
But heritage campaigner Wayne Colquhoun said city planners had “pushed the boundaries” and ignored warnings by Unesco.
Liverpool was granted World Heritage status in 2004 because of its role as a major port during the 18th and 19th centuries, when it played a major role in the industrial revolution and migration from Europe to America.
It also was a major hub of the Atlantic slave trade. Earlier this month, the city shortlisted six architecture teams to design a new visitor experience around the historic Canning Dock to tell the story of its role in the slave trade.