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UN may limit tall buildings

LIVERPOOL'S ambitions for a "mini-Manhattan" skyline face being thrown into jeopardy by strict United Nations rules to ban tall buildings around World Heritage sites. Tough measures proposed by the head of Unesco world heritage centres, Francesco Bandarin, would see skyscrapers in Liverpool and London refused permission.

The move would come as a blow to developers eager to reach for the sky with high-rise buildings along the Mersey waterfront.

Projects like the Unity development currently under way in Rumford Place, would not have got off the ground under the proposed rules, say some planning experts.

But last night Liverpool City Council's head of planning Nigel Lee said he would defend the Unity building as a suitable development on the edge of the city's World Heritage site.

Last week the Daily Post revealed plans by the Windsor Group for a cluster of buildings of up to 25 storeys in the Baltic triangle facing historic Wapping Dock warehouse. Other high-rise schemes are earmarked for Princes Dock and the business quarter around Old Hall Street. The measure is likely to promote a bitter battle between supporters ofmodern architecture and Unesco.

Liverpool only won its World Heritage status last year for its historic maritime legacy, with council planners duty-bound to consider the impact of any new scheme in the city centre on the heritage site.

The first salvo has been fought in the respected architectural journal, Building Design.

Bandarin states: "There must be a limit to designing whatever you want when you are in a city with a long history. A lot of these iconic buildings are designed with no sense of context. They are just pure design."

Liverpool is one of the cities being looked at by Unesco.

The new rules effectively banning modern high-rise schemes are to be debated at a major conference this week in Vienna.

The proposal is that cities such as Liverpool with World Heritage Status should have to enshrine a conservation plan as a supplementary planning guidance tool.

This, argues Unesco, would give planning regulations more teeth as they would become statutory when sensitive plans close to heritage sites are being discussed.

It will be the first time in 30 years that Unesco has considered new guidelines for the management of heritage sites. The proposals would not only make it harder to build close to heritage sites, but would also protect views, such as those towards the Royal Liver Building and the Anglican Cathedral.

Liverpool architect John Elcock said: "This proposal is utter madness. It is not just an attack on tall buildings, but on modern architecture. I believe Unesco will have a huge challenge on its hands from architects."
 

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Well this made me think of Liverpool, I know the city, like the rest of England, is in a boom constructing highrises, but I never really got interested in other cities besides London.
Where can I find Liverpool's skyline as it is today, and renders of what it might look like in the future?
 

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I agree with UN that some buildings may destroy the historic districts located close to it,especially when these buildings got dated and old-fashionable,but I can't see how UN can do anything to avoid that.
 

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Those bastards at UN !
 
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