From the Western Morning News
Cornwall's mining world heritage site not 'in danger'
The threat of Cornwall’s world-recognised mining heritage being labelled as “in danger” over a supermarket development has been lifted.
UNESCO, which designated the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site (CMWHS), had raised major concerns about the supermarket under construction on South Quay, Hayle.
And there was the prospect that UNESCO could have added the site to its list of “World Heritage in Danger”.
Although UNESCO’s advisers have now accepted the principle of development at Hayle Harbour they criticised the supermarket design, claiming it will hamper understanding of the outstanding universal value (OUV) of the quay and its original functions.
However, they did not identify any tangible negative impacts on the actual fabric of the quays and related harbour infrastructure.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which had responsibility for world heritage sites, argued that the limited impacts from the supermarket scheme should not warrant an “in danger” listing.
Cornwall Council said the scheme had been passed with conditions that the historic quay walls and sluicing system were improved. That, the authority said, contributed to flood risk mitigation for Hayle. There was also no other economically viable use that which would have provided the benefits.
Julian German, chairman of the CMWHS Partnership, said: “The development delivers substantial conservation gains to the harbour, which has lain derelict for decades, whilst causing no physical damage to historic features that demonstrate OUV.
“However, the objections raised by the heritage agencies about the visual impacts required this case to be carefully considered by the planning authorities.
“In view of this, the partnership sought advice from the Department of Communities and Local Government, particularly regarding safeguarding our world heritage status.
“Their view was that the development proposals did not cause sufficient conflict to warrant scrutiny by the Secretary of State, allowing Cornwall Council to give consent to the scheme.
“The development affects some of the views across a limited part of the harbour. The supermarket will not be visible from all parts of Hayle, and whilst extremely important, Hayle itself is only one component of a world heritage site totalling 20,000 hectares across ten landscape areas.
“Nine of the component areas are not affected in any way by the development at Hayle Harbour. We are therefore in agreement with the World Heritage Committee’s conclusion not to place the whole world heritage site on the list of ‘World Heritage in Danger’.”
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