World heritage site
A World Heritage Site is a site that has been inscribed by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) on its World Heritage List. In order to qualify, it must be of outstanding universal cultural or natural value (or both). The age of a site is irrelevant. The list was initiated following the World Heritage Convention in 1972 and includes a variety of sites such as landscapes, cities, monuments, technological sites and modern buildings.
 Current list
As of 2015, there are 1031 sites listed which includes:
- 802 cultural.
- 197 natural.
- 32 mixed.
 Inscription process
The first stage to becoming a World Heritage Site is the inscribing of the site on the prospective list held by the government. Each year, every country is eligible to propose a single site from the prospective list for consideration for inscription onto the Wold Heritage List. This requires extensive preparatory work, as the inscription process means that a site has to demonstrate how it meets one or more of UNESCO’s ten criteria for eligibility. If a site is successful, it means that it is recognised as being of outstanding value to humanity as a whole.
 Monitoring and management of a site
Any sites listed on the World Heritage List are monitored by UNESCO to ensure their preservation. If a site is considered to be under threat, for example from neglect or wilful destruction, it can be added to the World Heritage in Danger List. This highlights the site to the international community and also means the site becomes eligible for financial support from the World Heritage Fund. It is also possible, in severe circumstances, that UNESCO can revoke World Heritage status if it has lost the qualities that made it outstanding.
In the UK, according to government policy, all sites must have a World Heritage Site management plan in place to ensure they are managed sustainably.
 Planning control
Through being designated as a World Heritage Site, no additional statutory controls are afforded the site. However, the planning system gives protection, as well as other designations (listed buildings, scheduled monuments etc).
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) defines a World Heritage Site as a designated heritage asset and therefore weight should be given to its conservation and development that results in substantial harm or loss to the site should be avoided wherever possible. It may also be necessary to protect the setting of a site, for example through a buffer zone where there are restrictions on development.
Where a development is proposed that may affect a World Heritage Site, information will be required with an application to enable an assessment of impact on Outstanding Universal Value. This could include a visual impact assessment, archaeological data or historical information. It is often part of an Environmental Statement.
World Heritage Sites are considered to be ‘sensitive areas’ for the determining whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is required for a development.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Conservation area.
- Designated areas.
- Edinburgh world heritage site valued at over 1 billion.
- Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Environmental Statement.
- Green belt.
- Heritage definition.
- Landscapes of human exploitation.
- Listed building.
- National nature reserves.
- National parks.
- National planning policy framework.
- Scheduled monuments.
- Sites of special scientific interest SSSI.
- Special areas of conservation.
- Special protection areas.
 External references
Photo: Colin Higgs (http://www.portreathstudio.com) from Hilary Wyatt’s winning submission to the 2016 IHBC Student Award, on historic marine infrastructure.
The IHBC’s 2017 Gus Astley Student Award closes on 31 July, so if you have relevant coursework be sure to submit it online and on time.
Following their election at the IHBC’s AGM in Manchester, the institute’s officers summary details have been posted on the IHBC’s website.
IHBC’s Policy Chair said: ‘This judgement…. makes clear the importance of up-to-date development plans, and that the NPPF is not the over-riding consideration in every planning decision’.
Consultant for Stage 2 HLF bid for Mansfield Townscape Heritage Scheme, closing 7 August, valued at £70,000.
Humber Bridge joins top 2.5% of listed buildings on the 36th anniversary of its official opening by The Queen, as 9 new listings are added during Hull City of Culture 2017.
In 2017, Scotland will become the first part of the UK to introduce the ‘socio-economic duty’ and a consultation paper is a key way to get the implementation right.
The online survey’s objective is to review HE’s online advice and guidance to find out if the right information is being provided to the right people in the most effective way.
From 22 - 23 July 2017 free architecturally-inspired activities and workshops will be held, led by architects, artists and designers for kids and their families to explore the city.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirms Britain’s high-speed rail lines to the north-west, East Midlands and Yorkshire will give the North of England a huge economic boost.
Two reports detail the amount of financial support the EU has provided to heritage in England and Scotland between 2007-2016, together identifying more than £486 million.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Civic Amenities Act 1967 Civic Voice has awarded 3 Special Awards to projects from across England for enhancing a conservation area.