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Liverpool Stripped Of World Heritage Status

Liverpool has Had It's World Heritage Status Removed Due To Number Of Developments On City's Waterfront

By Ashish PrabhuPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

It was recently announced that the city of Liverpool has lost it's World Heritage status. This is due to the number of developments and building work on the city's famous waterfront. The decision was made by voting in a ballot at a meeting in China where the Unesco Committee who are in charge of assessing whether certain sites qualify held a meeting in which they went through all the developments in turn to see how it would affect the city's cultural history.

It was decided that the developments which include a planned new stadium for Everton Football Club had ended up in seriously deteriorating the historic site.

The decision was described as "incomprehensible" by the city's mayor.

"Our World Heritage site has never been in better condition having benefitted from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment across dozens of listed buildings and the public realm." That's according to city mayor Joanne Anderson.

She also said she would be working with the government to see if the city could appeal against the decision to have the World Heritage status reinstated.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said the decision was "a retrograde step that does not reflect the reality of what is happening on the ground".

"Places like Liverpool should not be faced with the binary choice between maintaining heritage status or regenerating left-behind communities and the wealth of jobs and opportunities that come with it," he said.

Labour's Kim Johnson, MP for Liverpool Riverside, said she remained "proud of my city and what we've done".

"People come here because it's amazing city and, while I'm disappointed, as a city we are resilient and we will always fight back."

The government said it was extremely disappointed with the decision and felt that the city deserved having the title because of it's archetectural and cultural history. The city was awarded the title in 2004 in recognition of it's architectural and historic impact. This meant it joined places such as the Taj Mahal and Egypts pyramids.

However, a report in June by the World Heritage Committee said developments on the city's waterfront had resulted in "irreversible loss of attributes".

It cited the Liverpool Waters project and Everton's new stadium, which is being built at Bramley Moore Dock.

Over the years there have been several plans which have been approved to build more and more apartments on the Liverpool waterfront. This includes a plan in September last year to build eight hundred apartments and then another plan in February this year to build three hundred more. This all coming when the waterfront is already full of apartment blocks and other facilities. The docks in the area are reminders of the city's cultural and historic past. This includes when the Old Dock was the World's first enclosed dock in 1715. There are many estuaries in the city which are now underneath developments such as the Liverpool One shopping centre. Further docks were added and eventually all were connected with interlock gates which was helpful when transporting goods around the country.

From 1830 onwards, most of the building stone was granite from Kirkmabreck near Creetown, Scotland]

The interconnected dock system was the most advanced port system in the world. The docks enabled ship movements within the dock system 24 hours a day, isolated from the high River Mersey tides. Parts of the system were a World Heritage Site from 2004 until 2021.

Most of the smaller south end docks were closed in 1971 with Brunswick Dock remaining until closure in 1975. Many docks have been filled in to create land for buildings: at the Pier Head, an arena at Kings Dock, commercial estates at Toxteth and Harrington Docks and housing at Herculaneum Dock. In the north, some branch docks have been filled in to create land. Sandon and Wellington Docks have been filled in and are now the location of a sewage works. Most of Hornby Dock was filled in to allow Gladstone Dock's coal terminal to expand.

Now with so many buildings and a new stadium being planned to be built in these historic areas, the natural beauty and environment is being lost which makes us lose a link to what happened in the past. These sorts of areas should be protected and have no risk of being redeveloped to help save links to the city's history which are being lost all the time.


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