Last edited 04 Feb 2021

Outstanding universal value

Outstanding universal value refers to: ‘Cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations. An individual Statement of Outstanding Universal Value is agreed and adopted by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for each World Heritage Site.’ Ref The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Annex 2: Glossary, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) in 2012.

The London Plan, published by the Mayor of London in March 2016, suggests that outstanding universal value refers to: 'A property that has a cultural and/or natural significance that is so exceptional that it transcends national boundaries. A statement of outstanding universal value is adopted by UNESCO’s intergovernmental World Heritage Committee at the time of its inscription and may be subsequently amended by the Committee. Values can be physical, architectural or intangible. They will be embodied in the buildings, spaces, monuments, artefacts and archaeological deposits within the site, the setting and views of and from it.'

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