Thursday, 22 March 2018

LIVERPOOL MARITIME MERCANTILE CITY Desired State Of Conservation Report January 2018

LIVERPOOL MARITIME MERCANTILE CITY (United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland)
Desired State of Conservation Report for the Removal of the Property from the
List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and a set of Corrective Measures.

The following DSOCR and Corrective Measures was developed on behalf of the UK State Party
by Liverpool City Council with the advice of Historic England in response to the requests of
the World Heritage Committee. It takes account of decisions taken by the Committee and is
based on the approved Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for the Property and
its attributes as defined in the Management Plan (2017-2024) that was approved by the
Cabinet of Liverpool City Council in 2017, namely:

 . The spirit of innovation illustrated by the architecture, engineering, transport, port
management and labour systems created and developed in Liverpool;
. The tradition of cultural exchange exemplified by Liverpool’s roles in the development
of popular music and as a patron of the visual arts.
. The buildings and monuments, stories and records that evidence Liverpool’s central
role in the development of the British Empire and global trade.
. The buildings and monuments, stories and records that evidence Liverpool’s central
role in global migration.
. The docks, warehouses, commercial buildings, cultural buildings and dwelling houses
and their relationships to each other that illustrate Liverpool’s development as a port
city of global importance.

 The Property contains six main character areas that help to convey the above key attributes.
These are:

. The waterfront Pier Head that contains the emblematic trio of buildings known as the
Three Graces, and acted as the prime gateway into the city from the River Mersey;
. The waterfront Albert Dock, its linkage to a series of neighbouring docks, and a group
of privately owned warehouses now successfully and sensitively refurbished to include
museums and galleries;
. The waterfront Stanley Dock, including three privately owned warehouses now
successfully and sensitively refurbished as a hotel, and the massive Tobacco and
Southern warehouses currently in progress of conversion to adaptive re-use;
. Castle Street/Dale Street Commercial Centre - the historic ‘downtown’ area that
contains the City’s key civic and financial buildings;
. William Brown Street that contains a cluster of monumental buildings, including St
George’s Hall, Museum, Art Gallery, Central Library, and Lime Street Station;
. Ropewalks area that developed shortly after the opening of the Old Dock in 1715 and
contains merchants’ housing and warehouses close to the existing city centre and the
Bluecoat, the oldest arts centre in Great Britain and the oldest surviving building in the
city centre.

The above areas – taken as a whole - are manifestations of the commercial enterprise of
Liverpool as a global trading port, and the civic and cultural institutions that grew as part of
this trade. They help define its physical characteristics.

 State of Conservation
The physical state of conservation is not the issue - as this has improved substantially - and
systematically - since inscription in 2004; indeed, the repair and re-use of a number of
outstanding historic buildings that were previously at risk was highlighted in the Report of the
Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission (24-25 February 2015). This positive situation

 . The number of Buildings at Risk (problematic heritage buildings requiring repair and
re-use) have been reduced to below 2.75% of building stock - far below the UK national
average – an achievement made possible by prioritisation of the substantial finances
for heritage managed by Liverpool City Council;

From 2015 each development proposal that has the potential to affect the OUV of the
Property is accompanied by an ICOMOS-compliant Heritage Impact Assessment that
details the significance of the asset/s that may be affected, the nature of that impact
and, where appropriate, how any harmful impacts can be mitigated. Historic England,
as the national heritage advisory body, is consulted on all of these proposals and the
State Party, taking into consideration the advice of Historic England, will notify the
World Heritage Centre, as necessary, under the provisions of the Operational
Guidelines paragraph 172.

The issue is the ascertained threat of “the proposed development of Liverpool Waters”. The
State Party accepts that this scheme - if implemented in line with the illustrative masterplan
that accompanied the outline planning permission granted on 18 June 2013 – would
undoubtedly cause substantial harm to the Outstanding Universal Value of the World
Heritage Property and would lead the World Heritage Committee to delete the Property from
the World Heritage List.

 Planning consent for Liverpool Waters legally lasts until 2042. However, it should be
emphasized that the masterplan, which illustrated the quantum of development for which
approval has been granted, is not one of the ten parameter plans that, together with the
development schedule, govern the consent. As such, it carries little weight in planning terms.
More importantly, Peel Holdings (the property owner that proposes the Liverpool Waters
Regeneration Project) has recently confirmed to Liverpool City Council that there is no
likelihood of the scheme coming forward in this form. Instead, Peel Holdings is undertaking a
comprehensive review of the scheme and drawing up new masterplans taking full account of
heritage considerations including all recorded commentary by the World Heritage
Committee. The key stakeholders would welcome the advice of ICOMOS and the World
Heritage Centre as the new masterplans come forward. The thinking behind the new
masterplanning exercise for the Central Docks neighbourhood is summarised below in
Corrective measure (g). In addition, it should be remembered that the plans for the
implementation of the outline consent require detailed planning consent for the layout,
scale, appearance, access and landscaping of all components of the scheme. The new
masterplanning work is taking account of these requirements, particularly as they relate to
OUV, and reflects exactly the 2015 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission report
which states “As the Liverpool Waters is a 30 year plus long-term development project,
involving some parts of the World Heritage property, it is likely to become an evolving
concept, transmuting and developing through time in response to changing context.”

The lack of confidence by the World Heritage Committee in Liverpool’s effective planning
control to avoid negative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of the Property is a
serious concern to the State Party which, while it does not believe this is the case, is
committed together with other key stakeholders, to making improvements to the
management and protection regime, should this prove necessary.

Detailed planning proposals that have subsequently been approved within the Princes Dock
neighbourhood / first phase of Liverpool Waters have, however, not been deemed to have
negatively impacted on the attributes that convey the OUV of the property by Historic
England, the State Party’s heritage adviser. Such proposals have been guided by the 2009
Supplementary Planning Document (to be revised in 2018), which contains detailed guidance
on how development is managed to avoid harm to OUV within the World Heritage Site and
its Buffer Zone. However, the World Heritage Committee considered the approval (2016) of a
planning proposal for a 34-storey residential tower block on Princes Dock in the Buffer Zone
unacceptable due to excessive height, albeit recognising that this was much lower than the
2013 Outline Planning Consent. ICOMOS also found the approved student residences at
Skelhorne Street, in the Buffer Zone of the Property adjacent to Lime Street railway station
unacceptable. Further approvals, whilst again acceptable to the State Party’s heritage

adviser, Historic England, were granted in 2017. These applications were each carefully
assessed through ICOMOS-compliant Heritage Impact Assessments.

Desired State of Conservation for Removal
. Effective protection of the physical dimension and the characteristics of the townscape
and port landscape, together with an understanding of the historic function, that is
relevant to the Outstanding Universal Value of the Property and its Buffer Zone;

. Effective protection of important views related to the Property and its Buffer Zone;

. Threats to the World Heritage Property from the Liverpool Waters development
(whether from within the Property, or its Buffer Zone) have been reversed or mitigated
to such an extent that they no longer pose a threat to the OUV of the Property;
. Policy and regulatory measures in place to regulate maximum heights for new
developments (“Liverpool Skyline” policy to be adopted);
. Awareness and appreciation of Liverpool’s World Heritage status by its citizens and
visitors enhanced through the successful implementation and evaluation of a heritage
interpretation and communication strategy;
. Awareness, by developers and building professionals, of the World Heritage Property,
its Outstanding Universal Value and conservation and management requirements under
the World Heritage Convention enhanced through progressive engagement by
. Integrity of the World Heritage Property enhanced through the inscription of an
extension to the World Heritage Property and its Buffer Zone.

Corrective Measures and Timeframe for their Implementation
. a) Update of planning tool in force, responding to the 2015 mission to “…provide
comprehensive documentation concerning the management system/plan to be put in
place…”: a comprehensive updated Management Plan was adopted in 2017 that
integrates the attributes of the World Heritage property to guide Citywide policies and
actions (responsive to the economics of the city-growth target of a population of
460,000 for the year 2020), and that clearly integrates the necessary public-private
investments from 2018 onwards to ensure a feasible phasing of action for the World

Heritage Property in particular, and the City centre and wider Liverpool regeneration
in general;
. b) Update of planning tool in force, by the definition and adoption of policy and
regulatory measures embodied in a Local Plan (link to final draft documentation pack
at Appendix A) based on townscape characteristics, functional relationships in the port
area, together with relevant important views, to ensure protection of the attributes of
the World Heritage Property. U.K. National Planning Policy places Local Plans at the
heart of the planning system. The Liverpool Local Plan, together with the
Neighbourhood Masterplans being developed for Liverpool Waters, the adopted World
Heritage Site Management Plan, and the Supplementary Planning Document (being
updated in 2018), are the regulatory planning documents which provide: clear legal
guidelines to protect the OUV of the Property; assistance for developers to design their
projects accordingly; and the basis for considering whether applications can be
approved. Historic England is a statutory consultee. This will manage the
comprehensive regeneration of the city, set the context for the World Heritage Site,
and will integrate heritage conservation with the on-going socio-economic and
regeneration imperative for Liverpool within the City Region;
. c) Update of planning tool in force, following the adoption of the Local Plan before the
end of 2018, through the revision of the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) that
adopts the Historic Urban Landscape approach and further strengthens the clear
analysis and description of the townscape characteristics relevant to the attributes of
the OUV of the Property that has been described in the SPD Evidential Report (March
2009) that will be made available online in 2018. The existing SPD will be subject to a
full review and, if necessary, enhancement of the section on important views related
to the Property and its Buffer Zone, as currently defined, together with a clear
description of the functional relationships and public circulation in the port area (with
the community of Liverpool in mind);
. d) Review the development in progress for the Princes Dock Neighbourhood (approvals
received no objections from Historic England) and, by negotiation with all parties
concerned, to continue the pattern of substantially lowering the height of schemes
which receive detailed permission as compared to the maximum envelope granted
under the Liverpool Waters Outline Planning Consent;
. e) Bramley Moore Dock. Everton Football Club is considering the potential to construct
a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock. No planning application has been submitted,
nor is such an application imminent. In the event that a planning application is
submitted it will be dealt with in accordance with the National Planning Policy
Framework and Liverpool’s own statutory Development Plan including the World

Heritage Site Supplementary Planning Document. As part of the assessment, Historic
England, as advisor to DCMS, will be a statutory consultee and that the World
Heritage Centre would be immediately informed under section 172 of the Operational
. f) Develop and finalize a height (“skyline”) policy for tall buildings within the Property
and its Buffer Zone. Note: - A tall buildings policy has been included in the submission
draft of the Liverpool Local Plan. The Local Plan, approved by Cabinet and Council on
19th and 24th January 2018 respectively, will be published for pre-submission
consultation for a period of 6 weeks. After which it is expected that it will be submitted
to the Secretary of State for the purposes of an independent public examination in mid
2018. After the examination, the City Council would hope to adopt the Plan towards
the end of 2018 or early 2019.

 . g) Responding to the 2015 mission to “…ensure urban design guidelines that will
provide continued coherence for the architectural and town-planning values and that
will be pro-active to ensure the management of the World Heritage property and the
city centre…” the Neighbourhood Masterplans for Central Docks and for Northern
Docks and their respective surroundings will be reviewed and finalized, in accordance
with the terms of the outline permission in close consultation with the national
statutory heritage advisor Historic England and be guided by the core principle of the
DSOCR to ensure that the architectural and town-planning coherence and the
conditions of authenticity and integrity of the World Heritage Property are sustained.

The detailed plans will integrate all the different dock areas of the property into one
continuous historic urban landscape, maintaining the existing horizontal layering of
the city profile, expressed as a three-tiered urban structure, and the important views
from the northern and central docks back to the Three Graces and the strategic views
of the city from the opposite side of the River Mersey. The detailed plans will provide
detailed content on: the general disposition of buildings in each neighbourhood and
plan for a general reduction in the height and urban density from the maximum
indicated in the outline permission, in order to attain a more sustainable and
deliverable development that will re-vitalise the City for the well-being of the
community and its visitors alike; the rationale for the height limitation of buildings by
relating to, and being guided by, specific buildings in the World Heritage Property
(some individual buildings might break height threshold but will nonetheless reflect
historic elements); and how the morphology and functional hierarchy expressed by the
port circulation system is maintained. To demonstrate the very real progress that is
being made to realize this desired state of conservation, the emerging Central Docks
neighbourhood plan has initiated a fresh approach, which utilizes OUV as a driver for
place making.

 Key protected views are being maintained and enhanced and a legible pattern of
historic streets is being established reflecting historical characteristics. We recognize
that this is work in progress and we invite the active participation of the World
Heritage Centre and ICOMOS in the masterplanning process to assist us in reaching
the desired state of conservation that is set out here.

 . h) Implement the new complementary framework within the WHS Buffer Zone of the
“Ten Streets” proposals area of the City (south of the Stanley Dock complex comprising
the remnants of historic warehousing that have been redundant for decades). The
City Council has produced a “Ten Streets” Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF). A
draft SRF was consulted on in autumn 2017 with the final document due to be
considered for adoption as an SPD by the City Council’s Cabinet in February 2018. This
articulates a shared vision for the area, provides an overarching context for
regeneration, establishes principles for development, and a focus for investment and
regeneration. Celebrating heritage is one of the ten ‘big ideas’ that are fundamental to
the SRF and support the vision and conservation and refurbishment of all the area’s
listed and important heritage buildings, starting with Liverpool’s largest listed
structure – the Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock.

. i) Strengthen the management system for the Property, and the consistency of
approach in managing the development process, through an integrated multi-
stakeholder approach, including consideration of the creation of a Liverpool World
Heritage Trust (LWHT), a new partnership under an agreed mandate on behalf of the
wider stakeholder interest including: the UK Government Department for Digital,
Culture, Media and Sport; Historic England; ICOMOS UK; Liverpool City Council;
property owners; developer interests; Merseyside Civic Society and ‘Engage Liverpool’.
LWHT is designed to embrace the comprehensive interests of Liverpool not only in the
management of the Property but for the benefit of the City’s wider historic
environment. Note: - The Terms of Reference for the WHS Steering Group were
reviewed and refreshed in 2017 and are included in the WHS Management Plan
adopted in April 2017. An independent Design and Heritage Review Panel has also
been set up in 2017 which considers appropriate major schemes of local and or
national importance including those within the World Heritage Site and its Buffer
. j) Develop and implement a World Heritage interpretation and communication strategy
aimed at the community of Liverpool, and its visitors, and an awareness-raising
programme aimed at developers and building professionals, of the World Heritage
Property, its Outstanding Universal Value and conservation and management
requirements under the World Heritage Convention. Note: - The City Council in partnership with Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) North has established a
Hub for Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site in the City Gallery of the
new national architecture centre, which opened on Liverpool’s Waterfront in 2017.
The Digital City Model in the City Gallery provides accessible information on the WHS
and its OUV to a wide range of audiences and can be used as a planning and
development tool with developers and buildings professionals;
. k) Review the Property boundaries and Buffer Zone, and consider an enhancement of
its integrity by an extension of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site
to better reflect her maritime and mercantile pre-eminence as the greatest Western
European seaport, from the early eighteenth to the mid -twentieth centuries.


a) Implementation of the comprehensive updated
Management Plan 2018 (ongoing)

b) Approval of Local Plan 2018

c) Revised Supplementary Planning Document 2018-19

d) Princes Dock development amendments 2018 (ongoing)

e) Bramley Moore Dock. As there is no planning
application for the proposed stadium, nor is this
imminent, a timeframe cannot yet be established

f) Develop and finalize a height (“skyline”) policy for tall
buildings 2018

g) Review and approval of neighbourhood plans 2018 (ongoing)

h) Implement the new complementary framework 2018 (ongoing)

i) Creation of a Liverpool World Heritage Trust 2018

j) World Heritage interpretation and communication strategy 2019

k) Extension of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City 2025

Desired State Indicators
The following Desired State Indicators have been developed specifically for the DSOCR and
respond to its Corrective Measures. In the case of Liverpool, it is fundamental to understand
that the indicators are not measures of the restoration of the attributes that convey the OUV

of the Property. The indicators are measures that monitor progress towards the elimination
of a major perceived development threat, and of the strengthening of the Property’s overall
effective protection and management and consequently the strengthening of OUV as a
whole. Such Desired State Indicators augment existing indicators implemented since
inscription to monitor the condition of the OUV of the Property.

Corrective Measure

Indicator for removal of the Property from the List in Danger Rationale Method of Verification

a) Adoption of an approved updated Management Plan Update of planning tool in force Date approved.

b) Adoption of Local Plan Update of planning tool in force Date approved

c) Supplementary Planning Document Update of planning tool in force Date approved

d) Adoption of Neighbourhood Masterplan for Princes Dock Update of planning tool in force Date approved

e) Planning status of a football stadium on the site of Bramley Moore Dock

Mitigation of potential negative impact on the OUV of the Property if application arises

Satisfactory Heritage Impact Assessment accompanying any application

f) Height policy for the WHS and its Buffer Zone Update of planning tool in force

Date of an approved tall buildings policy adopted in Local Plan

g) Adoption of Neighbourhood Masterplans for Central Docks and Northern Docks Update of planning tool in force Date approved

h) Spatial Regeneration Framework for “Ten Streets”Update of planning tool in force Date approved;
Date implemented

i) Creation of a Liverpool World Heritage Trust Strengthened, independent management of the WHS and its Buffer Zone Date implemented

j) World Heritage Interpretation and Communication Strategy, and an awareness-raising programme
Enhanced awareness and understanding of World Heritage values
Dates implemented

k) Extension of the WHS and its Buffer Zone Enhanced integrity and Date of nomination, date of inscription

Appendix A
Links to Liverpool City Council Local Plan Final Draft – January 2018:

1. Link to the Submission Draft Local Plan document only 

2. Link to the Policies Map – City Centre Inset - shows whole of the WHS and most of the

 3. Link to Policies Map – rest of Liverpool -
note a small part of the Buffer Zone is shown on this map

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