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Forget UNESCO - Everton's new stadium proposal is perfect for the City of Liverpool; Royal Blue - Liverpool are at risk of losing their World Heritage Status, but that shouldn't bother Everton.

Byline: Adam Jones

Liverpool are at risk of losing their World Heritage Status after UNESCO expressed their concerns to the city council recently.

And, let's be clear about something right from the start,Everton'snew stadium is not the sole reason behind this.

The city's status has been on the 'danger' listever since Peel's 30-year Liverpool Water project was approved in 2012 - eight years after Liverpool was granted its world heritage accolade.

That was long before a potential move for the Blues toBramley-Moorewas in the pipeline, and even now the club's role in this discussion might not be as it seems.

As it stands, Everton are ready to enter the second stage of public consultation on July 26 which will go into incredible detail of the finer intricacies of plans - including finally showing off designs to the public.

Liverpool on the brink of losing World Heritage Status

After that, the club will then be submitting their planning application before the end of the year.

So, with approval still not technically passed over a potential Everton move to Bramley-Moore, the council have rightly been reluctant to include the stadium in their world heritage plans.

And that is where UNESCO's problem lies - but it shouldn't.

In fact, the club have shown countless times over the process of consulting with the public over their new ground about how important it is to keep the historic aspects of the location in place and even enhance them in a lot of ways.

The development will respect the on-site heritage, retaining the listed dock wall, revealing unseen historic features and maintaining a historic water course through the development of a water channel.

The Blues are also restoring and bringing back into public use a hydraulic tower on the site, although the exact purpose of the structure in the future is yet to be revealed.

Everton do care about the historic nature of the dock, whether or not UNESCO think otherwise.

And, when it comes down to the city having world heritage status or having a newly-built, state-of-the-art stadium on its waterfront among a wider regeneration of an important area - then it's no contest.

Liverpool has had World Heritage Status since 2004, meaning developments such as the M&S Bank Arena on the city's waterfront didn't have to go through the same stringent process.

For the time being, Bramley-Moore Dock is closed to the public. Its use to the city of Liverpool as a whole is minuscule at the very best.

The Blues propose to breathe new life into this historic part of the city, allowing people to come back and explore forgotten and run-down areas and discover places they might not have visited before right on their own doorstep.

Rail seating, safe standing and why Everton have included it in Bramley-Moore dock plans

The regeneration of the whole area will bring thousands of jobs and bring a dead area of the city back to life - while attracting a new wealth of visitors to the area once the project is complete.

What's not to like?

Despite Everton making clear their plans to keep the historical aspects of their proposed new home in tact at the very least, UNESCO don't seem to be taking that into account.

The club cannot let that affect them at all, and they won't.

In the grand scheme of things, what does having world heritage status mean for the city of Liverpool?

It won't bring in jobs or investment - but the right generation of the parts of the city which need it most certainly will do that. And let's not forget how important Everton have been in this particular project.

Peel's Liverpool Waters project is set to take decades to fully complete. And the northern docks - Nelson and Bramley-Moore - were going to be the last to be developed.

That's until the Blues stepped in.

Darren Lawless, development director at Peel Land and Property, said: "The opportunity to bring forward development at the northern end of Liverpool Waters wouldn't be possible within the same timeframe without the interest that we do have from Everton.

"Subject to all the necessary consents, planning etc, it will be a gamechanger, not only for Liverpool Waters but for the wider area of North Liverpool.

Everton's Bramley-Moore stadium plans to include rail seating as Toffees prepare for 'safe standing'

"In really simple terms, without that interest and that commitment from the football club, then that area of site probably wouldn't be called upon or have the ability to be developed for a number of years.

"So it (the stadium) does absolutely turbocharge the delivery of that area of the site."

If the only downside to all this positivity is Liverpool losing its World Heritage Status, then it's a small price to pay.

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CAPTION(S):

Credit: Colin Lane / Liverpool Echo

Pictured is Bramley-Moore Dock, the proposed site for Everton's new stadium

Credit: Jason Roberts

Bramley Moore Dock the proposed site for Everton's new stadium.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Crosby Herald (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 29, 2019
Words:832
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