Peel Holdings have joined the organisation that McKenna runs, Downtown Liverpool In Business
LIVERPOOL should relinquish its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site if it becomes a barrier to future regeneration plans, says business lobbying group Downtown Liverpool in Business (DLIB).
Unesco's World Heritage Committee is set to review Liverpool waterfront's status at its annual meeting in Paris next week in the light of recent schemes such as Neptune Developments' Mann Island and property giant Peel's proposals for its Liverpool Waters scheme - both of which have come under criticism from heritage organisations.
However, Frank McKenna of DLIB argues that the city’s future prosperity must take precedence over its illustrious past and that the status should not be used a tool to frustrate developments such as Peel's 14hectare, £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme.
He said: “I think it is right that we celebrate the past, but we should not live in it. Liverpool’s waterfront, and the Three Graces in particular, are world famous already without the UNESCO accreditation and we don’t need that badge to attract people to the city.
“It would be a tragedy for Liverpool’s economic future if the area recently designated as an Enterprise Zone were to be stymied because of a status that brings little to Liverpool’s reputation or economy.
“It is not only the site itself that causes problems for developers; the so-called ‘buffer zone’ has hindered schemes as far up as the Ropewalks area. World Heritage Status is becoming a barrier to regeneration and it cannot go on.
“Liverpool needs growth, development and jobs. If UNESCO cannot accept that, then we should have no hesitation in handing back the status.”
Peel Group became a member of Downtown Liverpool In Business last month.
Last week, Peel Group's development director Lindsey Ashworth told TheBusinessDesk.com that efforts to avoid a formal objection by English Heritage to the Liverpool Waters scheme had set the project back by around 12 months.
McKenna and his developer lobby group whose members include Peel Holdings hosted a business week and their keynote speaker was his friend Joe Anderson.
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