ATTENTION will soon turn to Stonehenge as UNESCO decided to delete Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City from the World Heritage List.

Liverpool has been deleted from the World Heritage List after a UN committee found developments including the new Everton FC stadium threatened the value of the city’s waterfront.

UNESCO warned the government in June that Stonehenge’s status as a world heritage site will be in danger if plans for a tunnel underneath it are not altered.

The decision around Liverpool's status came after a lengthy debate and an unusual secret ballot.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Liverpool

The Committee’s decision is damning in its criticism of the UK Government for ignoring international concerns and advice on numerous occasions, most notably concerning the impacts of new developments on the unique waterfront buildings and docks and their setting.

The Decision also refers to the lack of an effective regulatory system for the legal protection of the WHS.

A Draft Decision on Stonehenge is scheduled for adoption by the Committee this week, without discussion.

It refers to the legal challenge to the Transport Secretary’s decision to approve the A303 Stonehenge road-widening and tunnel project.

If the judgement, still awaited, allows the scheme to proceed, it is proposed that Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites be considered for inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger next year for reasons similar to those cited in relation to Liverpool.

The UK has 32 World Heritage Sites. Liverpool is one of only three out of 1,100 WHSs worldwide to lose its status.

'What more does it take?'

The Stonehenge Alliance said: "This must be seen internationally as nothing other than a shameful failure by our government to honour its commitments under the World Heritage Convention – and to us all – to protect and conserve its designated cultural heritage and to ensure that effective measures are taken for its protection and conservation.

"Are we heading for a similar disaster at Stonehenge? International advisers and archaeological specialists have advised against the road scheme for years; the panel of five planning experts who conducted the public examination of the project advised against it; over 200,000 individuals from 147 countries have asked the government to reconsider it; and more than 3,000 individuals contributed to the costs of the legal challenge. What more does it take?

"Let’s hope that the Liverpool decision today will be a wake-up call before even more of our internationally famous heritage is vandalised for short-term political gains and permanently lost to future generations."

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