Liverpool's world heritage site waterfront will be "irreversibly damaged" unless urgent modifications are made to a multibillion-pound skyscraper scheme, a delegation from Unesco has warned.
The delegation said the skyscraper proposal would result in "a serious loss of historic authenticity".
The Unesco inspectors praised the "more or less symmetrical profile" of the city's waterfront, with the Three Graces – the Port of Liverpool and the Liver and Cunard buildings – at centre stage and historical docklands to the north complementing those to the south.
The Graces were "at the heart of the shipping and harbour operations during the height of [Liverpool's] glory, surrounded by dockyards and port structures", they said.
But they warned that if the £5.5bn Peel Holdings development, including tall buildings such as the Shanghai Tower, went ahead, this profile would be shifted to the north by introducing a secondary cluster of high-rises, with towers three times the size of the Three Graces.
They would "[relegate] the Three Graces to playing second violin", the inspectors found, "thereby losing an important visual and historical reference to the city's glorious past".
The Unesco report said the views of the Three Graces from Kings Dock would disappear amid the supertowers.
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