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Calls for Liverpool’s waterfront to be given National Heritage Status

2 years ago

Calls for Liverpool’s waterfront to be given National Heritage Status

Merseyside Civic society which helps preserve the best of the past across Liverpool City Region, has called for Liverpool’s former World Heritage site and adjoining areas to be given a new ‘National Heritage Area’ status.

The City’s World Heritage Site inscription was withdrawn by UNESCO last year, largely because it objected to the outline planning permission for a waterfront development known as Liverpool Waters and to the loss of a water area in a derelict dock in order to facilitate the construction of Everton’s new stadium.

The Liverpool Waters outline permission is almost ten years old and has yet to be implemented. The new Everton Stadium is under construction and some £50m will be spent on restoring and protecting heritage assets, including surfaces, dock walls, quays and structures.

“There’s no point in challenging UNESCO’s decision now as that is water under the bridge” said Gavin Davenport, Merseyside Civic Society Chair. “But we do need to point out that some 99.5% of the global heritage assets which were the basis for the UNESCO inscription are still here – and many in better condition than ever. Across the city only 2.5% of historic buildings are now in disrepair, down from 13% on 2000”.

‘The River Mersey runs through a metropolitan area of exceptional heritage quality – a working port city region and its mercantile dwellings such as those in the Canning Street Conservation Area or Hamilton Square in Birkenhead’.

“It is vital that these assets are protected, appreciated and enhanced for future generations, whilst supporting tourism and investment in the city, and we believe that a National Heritage Area policy designation would achieve just that”

Merseyside Civic Society is urging Steve Rotherham, the Liverpool City Region Mayor to include such policy in his statutory city region spatial plan, which is currently in preparation; and asking the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the new Secretory of State for Culture Media and Sport to see this as a national pilot for ‘National Heritage Areas’ which could be introduced elsewhere.

Gavin Davenport said: “Our prosed new national designation would reflect those which apply to national environmental assets like the National Parks, Areas of Outstanding National Beauty and National Nature Reserves in rural areas, which have long term resourcing for management from government. It is very surprising that there is a no equivalent of these designations in our great cities. Our cities are as much part of our island story as the countryside and uplands. We believe that the new PM and Secretaries of State need to give this gap in planning policy their early attention.”


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