Aerial Of River Mersey And Liverpool

Liverpool considers expanding World Heritage Site

Liverpool City Council has suggested there are “compelling arguments” for expanding the city’s World Heritage Site to include areas such as Rodney Street, Chinatown, and Hartley’s southern docks, with a feasibility study due to be put together in the coming months.

The city’s current World Heritage Site incorporates Liverpool’s core historic docks, including Old Dock and Stanley Dock, and stretches to Bramley-Moore Dock, the proposed site of Everton’s new stadium, to the north.

The council is now looking to put together a feasibility study which could see the WHS extended to incorporate a number of new areas. These include docks to the south of the city centre: Queens Dock, opened in 1785; Coburg, opened as Brunswick Basin in 1816; and Brunswick Dock, built between 1827 and 1832.

A report to the council argued there was a “strong case” for expanding the boundary of the WHS to include these docks, given their “relatively early dates”.

Other areas to be looked at for inclusion are Chinatown and the areas around Rodney Street, Canning Street, and Hope Street; here, the council said there were “compelling arguments” for inclusion in the WHS.

Two further areas associated with the historic docks and trading area – Ten Streets and the Baltic Triangle, will also be considered, although the council said both “only contain residual elements” with “further work required to asses if they are sufficient to satisfy the [WHS] criteria”.

Both Ten Streets and the Baltic Triangle are subject to separate masterplanning documents being brought forward by the council.

A feasibility study for the expansion will now be drawn up, subject to approval by the council’s cabinet this Friday, ahead of the World Heritage Committee in July this year. The report is expected to complete prior to the WHC’s meeting in July 2020.

There is precedent for boundary changes within World Heritage Sites, with a site in Georgia being altered last year.

Last summer, the World Heritage Committee approved  Liverpool’s WHS status at its annual summit, but it remains on a list of “sites in danger”, a position it has held since Peel’s vast Liverpool Waters scheme was approved in 2012.

Since being put on the list, a series of measures are now in place to protect the status of the site.

These include regulatory planning documents which provide legal guidelines to protect the WHS properties; design guidelines in the city’s local plan; developing a “skyline policy” for tall buildings; along with the review into expanding or enhancing the WHS.

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The whole Georgian Quarter as well as Chinatown and the two cathedrals should definitely be included. The Georgian Quarter is unique in the country and was where many of the merchants lived, including people like Henry Booth who led the development of the Liverpool-Manchester Railway.

By Roscoe

Consideration should also be given to the inclusion of Woodside and Hamilton Square in Birkenhead.

By Roscoe

Hartley not Harley!

By Gene Walker

Can we afford this, do we want this? The current WHS status has already proven toothless at saving many heritage assets in this city! Why then further hinder a city in those districts that have most growth potential when 1) the existing protection fails and 2) architectural ambition is actively discouraged

By LEighteen

I think Hamilton Square should definitely be included. I think that if going to include the Georgian Quarter would you give consideration to Sefton Park and possibly Princes Park? But agree some things just sadly get torn down anyway.
I walked down Renshaw Street on Saturday night and was horrified that this leads to the gateway of Lime St Station. I am ashamed to say – what a dump! What is going on there!

By Lizzy Baggot

WHS designation seem to be used as a restrictive policy rather than a confirmation of actual heritage merit and internationally recognised heritage at that. I would be interested to see what the ‘compelling reasons’ are for including Chinatown.

WHS would its the death knell, in that as has been shown the subsequent red tape and hoop jumping that goes with the ‘honour’ only serves to dilute ambitions and put off investors and would effectively encase the area in aspic.

Chinatown has been on the wane for years having formerly stretched from Renshaw St to Nelson St; what’s left of the Chinese community and businesses are now isolated to Nelson St and its immediate surroundings. Only the arch and a few bilingual street signs let you know you’re in Chinatown; LCC have done little to support over the last 20 years.

The area is best served seeking to benefit from its location as a key gateway between the Baltic Triangle and City Centre and feeding off the westwards expansion of the city centre towards Parliament St. In other cities, Chinatowns are a destination, distinctive from other parts of the city centre. Liverpool’s isn’t unfortunately.

By Duke

There were many beautiful buildings afforded by slavery. A history that is still celebrated today. They just do not know it.

By Deva AD 79

Chinatown isn’t really the main point, but it is contiguous with the area leading from Upper Duke Street into the Georgian Quarter. The Georgian Quarter would benefit from inclusion. It would raise standards and encourage the visitor economy already growing all the time. It would also help complete the picture in telling the tale of Liverpool’s global significance. Many people who had an influence on the world lived in the Georgian Quarter, not least the main proponent for the Liverpool Manchester railway Henry Booth; and his engineer is buried in the grounds of St. Andrew’s the former Scottish church. Gladstone also was born there and his house still stands on Rodney Street alongside Henry Booth’s. Abolitionist, author, and benefactor William Roscoe was born at the top of Mount Pleasant and his influence is felt in several parts if the Georgian Quarter. Expansion of the WHS need not stymy development in adjacent areas, but it is likely to improve the quality.

By Roscoe