By the Save Waterloo Dock Team
01 July, 2019
43 COM 7A.47 for approval at the forthcoming UNESCO WH Committee Meeting to be discussed Tuesday 2 July 2019
The DRAFT Decision 43 COM 7A.47 on the UNESCO World Heritage Website presumably for approval at the forthcoming UNESCO WH Committee Meeting is damning. In particular:-
From the State of Conservation Report 2019 prepared by the UNESCO WH Centre:
However, the assurances that developments shall not take place prior to the completion of the Neighbourhood Masterplans does not align with information provided to the World Heritage Centre by the State Party, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, relating to developments within the area of the Liverpool Waters development by different developers in West Waterloo Dock (part of Central Docks), where no Neighbourhood Masterplan has been reviewed.
From the Draft Decision:
4 Recalls its repeated serious concerns over the impact of the proposed Liverpool Waters developments in the form presented in the approved Outline Planning Consent (2013-2042) which constitutes an ascertained threat in conformity with paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines;
NOTE: An “ascertained threat” is far more serious than a ”perceived threat” as defined in Paragraph #179.
7 Although also noting that Peel Holdings (Liverpool Waters developer) reiterated its confirmation to Liverpool City Council (LCC) that there is no likelihood of the Liverpool Waters development scheme coming forward in the same form of the Outline Planning Consent, strongly requests the commitment of the State Party that the approved Outline Planning Consent (2013-2042) will not be implemented by Peel Holdings or other developers, and its revised version will not propose interventions that will impact adversely on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including its authenticity and integrity;
11 Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020, as well as a DSOCR and corrective measures that could be considered for adoption by the Committee;
12 Decides to retain Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) on the List of World Heritage in Danger, with a view to considering its deletion from the World Heritage List at its 44th session in 2020, if the Committee Decisions related to the adoption of the DSOCR and the moratorium for new buildings are not met.
The reference to the Paragraph 172 notifications from DCMS to which UNESCO WH Centre responded to DCMS with so called Paragraph #174 replies makes it clear that the planning applications relating to West Waterloo Doc k both approved and under consideration (18F/3231 and 18F/3247) are deemed by UNESCO WH Centre to be unacceptable.
It would appear that if LCC continues making excuses for the delay in submission of the various documents requested by UNESCO WHC and still fails to meet the 1 February 2020 deadline, or continues in not halting the developments, then the Liverpool WHS may well be lost in 2020.
UNESCO WH Centre also severally reprimands DCMS as follows:
10 Also reiterates its consideration that the recent planning permissions issued for the Liverpool Waters scheme and elsewhere within the property and its buffer zone, and the stated inability of the State Party to control further developments, clearly reflect inadequate governance systems and planning mechanisms that will not allow the State Party to comply with Committee Decisions and will result in ascertained threat on the OUV of the property;