Anger as Liverpool loses World Heritage status

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Strengthening the liver in Liverpool

Liverpool was removed from the World Heritage List after a United Nations committee discovered that developments, including the new Everton FC stadium, threatened the value of the city’s waterfront.

The city was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in 2004, joining places such as the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids of Egypt and the Cathedral of Canterbury.

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson
Newly elected Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson reacted angrily to loss of status (PA)

But on Wednesday, following a secret ballot, the World Heritage Committee voted to remove the site from the list, in a decision called “incomprehensible” by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson.

The committee, made up of representatives from 21 countries, was asked to make the decision after a report said that “inadequate governance processes, mechanisms and regulations for new developments in and around the property. World Heritage ”have resulted in“ serious deterioration and irreversible loss of the attributes ”.

Discussions on the city’s future began on Sunday, but members failed to reach consensus on Monday and delegates from Norway proposed a secret ballot on the issue.

Announcing the decision on Wednesday, committee chairman Tian Xuejun said 20 votes had been cast.

Thirteen were in favor of abolishing the city, five were against the proposal and two ballots were spoiled.

Mayor Anderson said: “I am extremely disappointed and concerned with this decision to remove Liverpool’s World Heritage status, which comes a decade after Unesco last visited the city to see it with its own eyes.

“Our World Heritage site has never been in better condition, having benefited from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in dozens of listed buildings and in the public domain.

“We will work with the government to see if we can appeal, but no matter what, Liverpool will always be a World Heritage city. We have a magnificent waterfront and an incredible built heritage that is the envy of other cities.

“Our commitment to maintaining and improving our buildings remains as strong as ever and will continue to be a key part of our drive to attract visitors, as well as recreation, shopping and events.

“I find it incomprehensible that Unesco prefers Bramley Moore Dock to remain an abandoned wasteland, rather than to make a positive contribution to the future of the city and its inhabitants.

“I will now seek to bring all UK heritage organizations together in a round table to plan for a positive future with additional investment.”

Liverpool waterfront stock
An aerial view of the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool (PA)

The area has been on the List of World Heritage in Danger since 2012, when the committee decided that the development of Liverpool’s waters, planned for the city’s north docks, was a potential danger to the site.

Plans for the new £ 500million Everton Stadium were approved earlier this year over objections from heritage body ICOMOS, acting on behalf of Unesco, as well as the Victorian Society and Historic England.

A report reviewed by the committee, meeting virtually and in person in Fuzhou, China, said: “The approved planning application for a new football stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock within the property adds to the proven threat to the value. Universal Outstanding Achievement of the property (OUV) and is directly contrary to the approach requested by the committee for this property.

Liverpool City Council said £ 700million has been invested in upgrading the site’s historic assets over the past few years and a further £ 800million is to be spent over the next five years, including for Everton’s move from Goodison Park to the wharf.

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