By the Save Waterloo Dock Team

02 June, 2021

Liverpool a proud City with a world renowned maritime and mercantile history.



1 June 2021

Dr Mechtild E. Rössler

Director – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

7 Place de Fontenoy

75007 Paris, FRANCE

Save Waterloo Dock ( ) is a neighbourhood association campaigning to protect one of Liverpool’s oldest and most historic docks. For the past two-and-a-half years we have been fighting inappropriate development involving dock infill and construction of apartment blocks in West Waterloo Dock.

The failure of developers, Liverpool City Council and the British Government to respect and protect the OUV of the Liverpool Marine Mercantile City World Heritage Site and the terms of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention places you in a difficult position. At the forthcoming 44th Session we believe your Committee will be faced with whether to put into effect their repeated warnings and cancel Liverpool’s designation if they assess the damage as too great.

We think that cancellation would be a mistake. Protection of our invaluable and irreplaceable heritage must look forwards and not backwards. We may be unable to correct the sins of the past, but we can and must try to prevent errors in the future. Liverpool is a proud city with a world renowned maritime and mercantile history as evidenced from simply walking through its streets and historic docks. Failure of the city’s leadership as well as the British Government to protect this is nothing short of scandalous, but punishing the whole city is in our opinion not the right answer. Many people in Liverpool hold the World Heritage designation in the highest esteem. The ignominy, damage to reputation and prestige, and the very significant adverse economic consequences its loss would cause to both the city and to Britain would be especially unfortunate as efforts are made to recover from the awful consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We ask you therefore to consider a simple request not to cancel the designation in July. Instead we suggest the Committee issues a clear and unambiguous statement addressed to the Mayor and City Council of Liverpool, the Secretaries of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government that the designation will be extended, but on two conditions. The first is an immediate short moratorium on further approvals for construction in the WHS and WHS Buffer Zone to allow a full re-assessment of priorities and the agreement of some simple rules (as the existing ones are failing) undertaken jointly by Liverpool City Council, the Liverpool City Region, appropriate representatives of the British Government and yourselves. The second is an irrevocable commitment that there will be no further dock infill beyond that already consented for Bramley Moore Dock to allow construction of the Everton FC stadium. Failure to observe either should lead to immediate cancellation of the designation placing the onus squarely where it belongs.

This proposal is designed to be constructive, pragmatic and fair. We thank you for considering our request.

Yours sincerely,

Neighbourhood Association

Cc: Ms Isabelle Anatole-Gabriel, Chief, Europe & N. America – UNESCO World Heritage

Ms Teresa Patricio, President – ICOMOS

English Heritage

Europa Nostra – UK

The Georgian Group

SAVE Britain’s Heritage

The Victorian Society

World Heritage Watch

Engage Liverpool

Merseyside Civic Society

Baroness Barran, MBE – DCMS

Lord Storey, CBE – House of Lords

Mayor Joanne Anderson – Liverpool

Ms. Kim Johnson, MP – Liverpool Riverside

Tony Reeves – Chief Executive, Liverpool City Council

Mayor Steve Rotheram – Liverpool City Region

Liverpool City Councillors

OPEN LETTER TO UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE CENTRE - a proposal 'designed to be constructive pragmatic and fair.'