Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Is Ged Fitzgerald-The Chief Executive Who Loses Liverpool World Heritage Site Status?

It looks that way even the planners say we will lose the WHS status if the plans for Liverpool Waters are approved.
David Bartlett, who is showing himself above and beyond most at the local Trinity Mirror writes in todays Echo;

LIVERPOOL must be prepared to lose its World Heritage Site status if the £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme for the city’s northern docklands is approved, officials warned today.
Planners have recommended Liverpool council’s planning committee backs Peel Holdings’ £5.5bn Liverpool Waters project on Tuesday. There is a video on the Echo website showing the full horror.
But they warned the decision could have dire consequences for the city’s World Heritage Site, which includes large parts of the development area, the waterfront and the city centre.
They suggested approving Peel’s proposals next week will lead to the city being put on the “danger list” of under-threat World Heritage Sites in the summer.
Liverpool Waters was the subject of intense debate after Unesco, the body which oversees World Heritage Sites, sent an inspection mission to Liverpool in November last year to assess its impact on the city’s waterfront.
Their subsequent report said the huge scheme would damage the city’s World Heritage Site “beyond repair” and the Three Graces would be relegated to playing “second violin”.
The government’s official heritage watchdog English Heritage has also objected.
Liverpool Waters promises to create 20,000 jobs. It features 9,000 apartments, hundreds of offices, hotels, bars and a cruise terminal, as well as the 55-storey Shanghai Tower.
A 513-page report written ahead of next week’s meeting sets out the view of council planning manager Mark Loughran, who believes the inspection report had “significant weakness” and believes the heritage benefits outweigh the negatives.
But he warned the committee must fully understand the implications.
Mr Loughran believes Unesco will first place Liverpool on the “World Heritage In Danger” list and then remove it from the main World Heritage list “if/when the ‘damaging’ components of the proposal are commenced”.
His report stated: “The Liverpool Waters proposals are clearly unique and have the potential to change the future of the city.
“The development proposed is on an unprecedented scale almost beyond living experience which, if delivered, would transform the city’s waterfront, creating a new international business destination, expand the city’s economy and regenerate north Liverpool.”
If approved, as widely expected, the application will be referred to communities secretary Eric Pickles MP to see if he wants a public inquiry.
It may also have to be referred to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Loughran also said a public inquiry is “probable”.Peel Holdings have warned they will walk away if a public inquiry is called and concentrate exclusively on Wirral Waters – a similar project in Birkenhead which already has planning permission.

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