Final decision to determine future of Liverpool's waterfront as World Heritage site

Credit: PA

The future of Liverpool's World Heritage status will be determined later this week with a secret ballot.

Unesco, who are meeting virtually and in person in Fuzhou, China, were asked to approve a draft decision to delete the city's waterfront from the World Heritage List.

The site was handed the title in 2004, but a number of developments, including Everton's proposed new stadium, could result in it being stripped.

Delegates from Norway proposed the decision to be made via secret ballot and the move was supported by those representing Guatemala and Uganda.

If two thirds vote to approve the decision, Liverpool will lose its status. A debate began on Sunday, but the nations were unable to reach a final decision.

The site could be stripped of its title this week. Credit: PA

On Monday, chairman of the World Heritage Committee Tian Xuejun said: "We heard extensive, in-depth discussions and a number of committee members have expressed diverging views."

Participating countries will send representatives to Unesco's Paris headquarters on Wednesday morning to cast their votes, and a decision will be announced shortly after.

Vatican City, Egypt's pyramids and the Taj Mahal are among the 1,121 sites that currently hold the prestigious title across the world.

The waterfront was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012, when it was decided the Liverpool Waters development, was a potential danger to the site.

The sun rises behind the Liverpool waterfront across the River Mersey. Credit: PA

A report said: "The approved planning application for a new football stadium in Bramley-Moore Dock within the property adds to the ascertained threat on the property's outstanding universal value (OUV) and is directly contrary to the approach requested by the committee for this property."

A report by Liverpool City Council said £700 million had been invested in upgrading historic assets within the site in the past few years, and a further £800 million was due to be spent in the next five years, including on Everton's move from Goodison Park to the dock area.

Liverpool leaders called for Unesco to defer the decision so the committee could visit the city.