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Plans for Fourth Grace to face major World Heritage review

The expected approval for Broadway Malyan's Fourth Grace scheme in Liverpool has been put back to allow World Heritage officials to review the plans.

Next week, an emergency delegation from UNESCO's World Heritage Committee will visit the hugely contentious Mann Island site to look at how the proposed £75 million mixed-use development could impact on the city's historic waterfront.

UNESCO will combine its investigation into this project - a replacement for Will Alsop's doomed 'Cloud' scheme - with its enquiries into the more controversial X-museum building by Danish practice 3XN, which has already secured planning and borders the Fourth Grace site.

Worryingly, if the UNESCO party is unhappy with the proposals, the organisation could order Liverpool City Council to pull the plug on the schemes or face losing its World Heritage status ( Fourth Grace architect blasts World Heritage officials

).

However the architect behind Broadway Malyan's plans to create 379 homes and 13,000m 2of offices in three black granite-clad buildings, said that he welcomed the move.

'To be honest I will be pleased to be able to see the guys,' associate director Matt Brook said. 'It would be daft if they came after the planning decision.

'We have had no specific comments from them about our scheme, English Heritage has been fantastic, and it will be nice to get it over and done with.'

The Mann Island application is expected to go back before the planning committee on 24 October.

by Richard Waite

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