The distinguished heritage expert formerly of Liverpool City Council, John Hinchliffe, has co-authored an article on the docklands World Heritage Site with Tim Darmody of Darmody Architecture currently working with Harcourt Developments on their Stanley Dock site.

Both John and Tim make a strong case for the dock to be left as open water but admit that there are conflicting visions at play and they both lay out as clearly as we have seen anywhere the simple arguments that lie behind placing Everton’s Stadium somewhere else on the waterfront including on the land currently empty and vacant for redevelopment in Central Docks where the former Clarence Dock Power Station used to be. This was a suggestion Engage had also made. The article makes a plea for creative compromise in this process and they show the type of atmosphere and culture necessary if that is to actually happen.

However they are aware that the proposals for the stadium have huge public support and we think it is most likely that when the plans are brought to the Planning Committee at the end of this month it is most likely that that they will arrive with a recommendation for approval. As their article states should this happen Historic England have asked for it to be called in by the Secretary of State. In the meantime it is reported that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting this summer in China will be given a recommendation for Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City to be deleted from the list of World Heritage Sites.

Sadly in Liverpool the voices supporting the UNESCO designation have been few and far between and those who have taken pride in trashing the designation have received enormous support. Once lost there will be no recovering this extraordinary universal symbol declaring that a particular place is recognised as having an Outstanding Universal Value. Most cities in the UK would give anything to have what Liverpool has but we seem content to let it go, and dispose of our national heritage advantage, and in some quarters to breathe a sigh of relief as building and design restrictions are lifted and landowners, developers and council officers can deliver whatever they choose.

The fascinating article can be read here: