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The Water Gates at the Old Royal Naval College

Management Plan

The Management Plan is a key part of the process of delivering our vision. It sets out a framework for safeguarding the World Heritage Site as an important cultural asset and as a place for the local community as well as national and international visitors to enjoy.

Framework for delivering the vision

The Maritme Greenwich World Heritage Site Management Plan, Third Review, was published in 2014. It sets out a framework for the protection, conservation and management of the Site over a 6 year period from 2012-17. It is underpinned by a series of goals and objectives and brings together the commitment, policies and aspirations of a variety of stakeholders as a statement of their willingness to work together in partnership for its implementation. The first Management Plan for Maritime Greenwich was published in 1999 and susequently revised in 2005. 

Need for a World Heritage Site Management Plan

UNESCO requires all World Heritage Sites to have an appropriate management system, interpreted in the UK as a Management Plan. These plans set out how the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage Sites will be understood, preserved and maintained. Management Plans usually include the description and significance of a site, an assessment of its state of conservation, protection and management regimes, programmes for action and a review of achivements from the previous Management Plan period. The UK Government requires all UK World Heritage Sites to have a Management Plan.

Status of the Management Plan

The current Management Plan for Maritime Greenwich sets out why Maritime Greenwich is a World Heritage Site, and the issues facing the Site and corresponding management objectives. The World Heritage Site Steering Group endorsed the Management Plan in November 2014 and it was submitted via English Heritage (now Historic England) to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which leads for Government on World Heritage issues. The DCMS in turn submitted the Management Plan to UNESCO's World Heritage Centre in Paris.

In line with custom and practice, the World Heritage Centre forwarded the Management Plan to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), UNESCO's advisor on cultural sites, for comment. To date no comments have been received in respect of the 2014 Maritime Greenwich Management Plan.

The Management Plan has been endorsed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the Local Planning authority and is referred to in the Royal Borough's Local Plan adopted on 30 July 2014. This gives the Management Plan weight as a material consideration in the planning process. 

Protected views

A key challenge for Maritime Greenwich is the protection of strategic views. This is recognised in the Mayor of London’s Spatial Development Plan for London, 2015 (London Plan). Maritime Greenwich is identified as one of four World Heritage Sites in London for which the built environment should be carefully managed to find a balance between protecting their  Outstanding Universal Value and allowing the surrounding land to continue to change and evolve.

The London Plan states that development should not cause adverse impact on the World Heritage Sites or their settings. In 2012 the Greater London Authority produced guidance (London World Heritage Sites, Guidance on Settings, 2012) as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to the London Plan to help provide a more consistent interpretation of setting and their importance in helping to appreciate Outstanding Universal Value and to support consistency in decision making in London.

The Mayor of London has also designated a number of strategic views with guidance on their management set out in the London View Management Framework (LVMF) SPG. One of these is the view of the London Panorama from the Wolfe Statue in Greenwich Park. The townscape view from Island Gardens to the Old Royal Naval College is also protected.

Tall buildings

The Greenwich Foundation produced Maritime Greenwich - Important Views and Tall Buildings as a framework to assist the assessment of development proposals affecting the World Heritage Site. If unchecked or poorly managed, the continuing expansion of tall building clusters westwards on the Isle of Dogs, and in particular in the South Quay development area, could have an adverse impact on London’s skyscape and the setting of the World Heritage Site. To counter this, the World Heritage Executive has been in constructive dialogue with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on the development of the South Quay Masterplan. The Masterplan makes reference to the World Heritage Site Management Plan as a material consideration in the planning process.

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