Chester's Rows, Jodrell Bank, Blackpool and the Lake District are among the places putting themselves forward for nomination by Government as World Heritage Sites.
The Government said 38 local authorities (see full list below) or other organisations had entered the process, including Brunel's Great Western Railway, the Forth Rail Bridge in Edinburgh and the Eighth Century Offa's Dyke. A final shortlist will be submitted to UNESCO in 2011.
World Heritage status sets planning restrictions for developers in terms of the height and quality of new buildings in a designated area and protects views of the listed landmarks. The listing several years ago of the Pier Head in Liverpool, along with five other parts of the city, in recognition of its importance as a mercantile maritime city, hampered Grosvenor's One Park West residential block, where several upper floors were removed from the original design. Peel also complained that planning restrictions along the Liverpool waterfront are too onerous and ignore developer's commercial interests.
Cllr Richard Short, executive member for culture and recreation at Cheshire West & Chester Council, said: "I am delighted that the Rows have been included – they are synonymous with Chester and known throughout the world.
"Whilst we firmly believe that Chester itself should be declared a World Heritage Site, we were advised that the Rows on their own would stand a better chance of receiving this international recognition."
Chester's famous shopping galleries date back to the 13th Century and were originally shops or warehouses at street level with a long gallery above, reached by steps from the street. In the Tudor and Jacobean periods the upper floors were built out over the galleries in Northgate Street, Eastgate Street, Bridge Street and Watergate Street and in some cases the medieval undercrofts – now below street level – are still used as shops, cafes and wine bars.
"The UK's heritage is world class and this list represents the unique variety and history present in all corners of this country and our overseas territories," said John Penrose, Tourism and Heritage Minister. "We wanted a strong and varied list to eventually put to UNESCO and I'm delighted that so many wonderful, diverse places have been put forward."
The full list
- Arbroath Abbey (Scotland)
- The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter (England)
- The Birth of the Railway Age serial nomination (England)
- Blackpool (England)
- The heroic period of civil and marine engineering in England 1822, Bristol (England)
- Bronte Landscape and Haworth Village (England)
- Brunel's Great Western Railway (England)
- Buildings of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow (Scotland)
- Chatham Dockyard and its Defences (England)
- Chester Rows (England)
- Colchester, Camulodunum and Colonia Victricensis (England)
- Creswell Crags (England)
- The Hill of Derry (Northern Ireland)
- The Dover Strait (England)
- The Flow Country (Scotland)
- The Forth Bridge (Scotland)
- The Fountain Cavern (Anguilla)
- Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar)
- Gracehill Conservation area (Northern Ireland)
- Jodrell Bank Observatory (England)
- The Lake District (England)
- The Laxey Valley (Isle of Man)
- Historic Lincoln (England)
- Malone and Stranmillis Historic Urban landscape (Northern Ireland)
- Merthyr Tydfil (Wales)
- Merton Priory (England)
- Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof: The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland (Scotland)
- The Royal Sites of Ireland – Navan Fort (Northern Ireland)
- The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads (England)
- Slate Industry of North Wales (Wales)
- Offa's Dyke (England/Wales border)
- St Andrews, Medieval Burgh and Links (Scotland)
- Island of Saint Helena (Saint Helena Island, South Atlantic Ocean)
- Turks and Caicos Islands (Caribbean)
- Tynwald Hill and environs – Norse assembly sites of North West Europe (Isle of Man)
- Former RAF Upper Heyford (England)
- Wye Valley and Forest of Dean (England/Wales border)
- City of York (England)