North Shore Framework Liverpool
Liverpool and its partners believe the city can have both economic growth and World Heritage status

Liverpool launches heritage framework amid Unesco talks

Dan Whelan

The city council has produced a framework to guide development across 260 acres of protected dockland, which it hopes will ensure Liverpool keeps its Unesco World Heritage Status. 

The North Shore Vision framework has been drawn up by landscape architect Planit-IE alongside Liverpool City Council’s World Heritage Team and World Heritage Task Force and Steering Group. The parties claim it is the first development document in the UK to adopt guidance set out in Unesco’s own policy for developing historic urban landscapes. 

By using Unesco’s Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL) model, the city council hopes to strike a balance between continuing redevelopment of the North Docklands area of the city centre, and conservation of the many historic buildings located within it, in order to satisfy the European conservation body, which is reviewing Liverpool’s Unesco World Heritage Status. 

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said the framework “will make Liverpool an international beacon of heritage-led regeneration and play a fundamental role in the multibillion-pound renaissance of this area over the coming decades.” 

The area covered by the framework, made up of largely derelict brownfield dockland, encompasses Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters, the Ten Streets District and Bramley Moore-Dock, where Everton FC plans to build its new stadium, and lies almost exclusively with the city’s World Heritage Site and its buffer zone. 

Everton Stadium East Stand

Historic England has objected to Everton’s stadium plans

Peel L&P and Everton FC have both agreed to adopt the principles of the framework for their respective developments, although Liverpool City Council has yet to determine the status of the document, and whether adhering to its policies will become a statutory requirement for developers building in the area. 

Liverpool was awarded World Heritage status in 2004 and has since invested more than £900m in historic assets and upgraded 37 listed buildings within the site. 

However, some commentators believe the accolade has stunted development in the city and Liverpool should willingly give it up.

Frank McKenna, chief executive of the Downtown Liverpool in Business group, has been an outspoken critic of the World Heritage badge and reiterated his call for Liverpool to turn its back on Unesco after Historic England objected to Everton’s stadium plans saying the development would “cause substantial harm to the city’s World Heritage status”. 

In 2013, Unesco said Liverpool was at risk of losing its World Heritage Status due to Peel L&P’s proposed £5.5bn regeneration of the protected docklands area. 

Anderson said: “Liverpool has wrestled, often quite publicly, with the idea of balancing the economic need to develop, with the need to respect the heritage of these unique but dilapidated docklands. 

“We’ve been listening to Unesco to see how its concerns can be addressed without compromising the ambition we all share to develop this area.” 

Neil Cossins, former chair of UK conservation body Historic England and advisor to Liverpool’s Mayoral World Heritage Task Force, said: “The city sees Unesco as a partner, not as a referee or arbiter. If cities are to thrive, they need to successfully reconcile their past with their future.”

And Darran Lawless, development director at Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters, said: “Working with the city council, Everton FC and other partners, we want to breathe new life into the docks with the creation of thousands of jobs, new homes and a destination for sport, tourism and leisure facilities to help attract new business and investment opportunities

“As we emerge to face the post-pandemic challenges, we are convinced that this collaborative partnership working will become an international exemplar of heritage-led, inclusive regeneration and growth.”

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These plans are great! It works for the heritage status and also the city at the same time! All they’ve done is remove two tower block plans from Liverpool Waters so they still have 5 skyscrapers and can still go ahead with the Bramley Moore Dock stadium, Liverpool John Lennon Airport has updated its master-plan and its saying it wants 8 million passengers now and to be connected to the world and the city still gets to keep its world heritage status, win win for everyone!

By Anomynous

Dump UNESCO, it has caused us more harm than good!

By Liverpolitis

I wish we could blame Manchester for this like we do everything else

By Anonymous

Given the things they’ve approved, the ugly makeshift boxes on top of or close to listed buildings, the low value crud architecture on the waterfront, the approving of zip wires deemed ok to whizz thousands of people past a Grade I listed building, and so on, what is this “framework’, other than a massively expensive political prop to be wheeled out as and when UNESCO rightly revoke the WHS?

Words mean nothing.

By Mike

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile-hoping it will eat him last.

By Simon

UNESCO create no wealth, no jobs , or opportunities , and they appear to have a particular fanatical focus on Liverpool, a lot more then they do our capital city and it`s historic landmarks.
Liverpool has plenty of buildings that need preserving and these rightly deserve attention , but so much time is being spent on areas of unused dockland that any movie director might consider using to film an epic post apocalypse film.
The Everton stadium is a massive development which will kick start the re-use of many old buildings in that area, in addition it will attract new developments like hotels etc.
UNESCO is something Liverpool can live without , as everything that gets proposed appears to upset them , and Liverpool City Council keeps showing their weakness by bowing and scraping to their every whim, to the extent that this has encouraged crackpot little pressure groups to emerge and voice their opposition to anything tall or modern.
Now it seems the 10 Streets jobsworths are starting to influence building heights along the dock road which are well away from their little kingdom.

By sound

The Everton stadium has already got the knock back from Historic England even though Everton have bowed down to their every whim and redesigned the stadium. I think it’s time to leave UNESCO! They have limited the city’s potential for redevelopment and i think it will get worst. All these plans looks spectacular and I hope it gets the go ahead but somehow Liverpool is being stopped to form the great potential it could have.

By Anonymous

It’s obvious the public are now waking up to the corrosive behaviour of UNESCO, Historic England and the plethora of other ‘heritage mafia’ groups that have contributed to crippling Liverpool’s renaissance for at least 15 years whilst other cities in the U.K. power head unimpeded by this heritage nonsense. Manchester based Historic England has stood by and even justified some of central Liverpool’s biggest architectural mistakes including the Shankly hotel whilst simultaneously attacking solid well considered developments such as Evertons BMD scheme where the benefits far out weigh the careful burial of disused Dock walls which will still be intact.

A serious inquiry is needed into not only why these groups seem so keen to contain Liverpool’s economic revival but why equally the city’s mayor is pandering to them and worse still the city regions metro mayor is nowhere to be seen on the issue. There is a long line of projects that have been cancelled, watered down and at best aesthetically ruined by heritage interference with not a single example of how their input has enhanced the outcome, quite the opposite.

Liverpool needs to get a backbone and rid itself of these arbitrary, subjective city sabotaging ‘frameworks’ as before long there will be no one left in the city to protect the heritage for as all investment, opportunity, status and jobs fly down the M62.

By Michael McDonough

Where are UNESCO, WHS and the rest of the anti-Liverpool’s based? You guessed it. They are all getting together to make Liverpool into west Manchester. We are already half way there.


By Michael McDonut

The Everton stadium has already got the knock back from Historic England even though Everton have bowed down to their every whim and redesigned the stadium. I think it’s time to leave UNESCO! They have limited the city’s potential for redevelopment and i think it will get worst. All these plans looks spectacular and I hope it gets the go ahead but somehow Liverpool is being stopped to form the great potential it could have.

By David

I often wonder how New York City makes it work. We have to much red tape over here. Its a much needed project so lets get on with it. With the US trade deals also on the horizon i would make the stadium NFL proof to !!

By steven


By George

What I would hate to see is more high rise flats(sorry apartments) being thrown up all across the docklands area and other places. Many of them are single bedroom flats. They are not suitable for families,the elderly or disabled, not even for singles who may wish to have friends/family stay occasionally.

By Gladys Williams

Liverpool may be west of Manchester, but it will never become west Manchester; anyway, as well as complusory tiffin at 4PM every day, Borris wants local authorities to go back to the administration of the ‘Hundreds’, which means Manchester will disappear into Salford. And Mr Donut Historic England are based in London and Swindon, not Manchester. A certain TV architect and his London group are the ones who want to put Liverpool in aspic. The south are terrified of what Liverpool can do, and become.

By SalfordAnnie