UNESCO removes Liverpool from World Heritage list
The UN’s cultural agency UNESCO on Wednesday voted narrowly to remove Liverpool’s waterfront from its list of world heritage sites, citing concerns about overdevelopment, including plans for a new football stadium.
At committee talks chaired by China, 13 delegates voted in favor of the proposal and five against – just one more than the two-thirds majority required to delete a site from the global list.
“It means that the site of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City is deleted from the World Heritage List,” Tian Xuejun, chairperson of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, declared.
It is only the third such removal, after previous decisions affecting Oman and Germany.
Over two days of committee discussions, delegates heard that the redevelopment plans, including high-rise buildings, would “irreversibly damage” the heritage of the historic port in northwest England.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites, which advises UNESCO on the heritage list, said the U.K. government had been “repeatedly requested” to come up with stronger assurances about the city’s future.
The planned new stadium for Everton football club was approved by the government without any public enquiry, and “is the most recent example of a major project that is completely contrary” to UNESCO goals, it said.
But U.K. Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage told the committee that her government was serious about preserving Liverpool’s character, arguing that delisting “would be a huge loss.”
Liverpool’s newly elected mayor Joanne Anderson said she was “really disappointed” in the decision and would try to appeal.
“It’s quite difficult for me to comprehend how UNESCO would rather have us having an empty dock site rather than the Everton stadium at Bramley Moore Dock,” she said.