Daily Post column: Walking the World Heritage Site tight rope
I've been asked again to fill in for Phil Redmond's Daily Post column for a few weeks while he takes a break.
Here's this week's:
Liverpool's waterfront and city centre became a World Heritage Site in 2004 because it is "the supreme example of a commercial port at a time of Britain's greatest global influence".
The news was widely trumpeted - the city's heritage had been recognised and Liverpool was put on a par with the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China.
But just three years later Unesco sent a delegation to the city over concerns new developments threatened that very status.
After all was said and done Unesco's Heritage Committee decided the "outstanding universal value" of the WHS remained intact.
Unesco did however demand the council draw up of a blueprint of what developments should be allowed especially where tall buildings could go.
And the words "outstanding universal value" have been heard very little since - until this week.
For the past few months a curious dance has been going on behind the scenes between conservation watchdog English Heritage and developers Peel Holdings over the company's multi-billion Liverpool Waters project.
The company wants to regenerate the city's northern docklands with a series of skyscrapers creating more than 25,000 jobs and 14,000 apartments in a ÃÂ£5.5bn scheme.
Initial drawings for the project showed the docklands area covered in futuristic skyscrapers.
The latest set of drawings now bear little resemble as it turns out Peel Holdings have been forced to scale back the scheme over fears it could threaten the outstanding universal value of the WHS.
Despite this English Heritage still has serious reservations. Peel reckons a compromise will be reached as it has managed to do with the Wirral element of the scheme.
Wirral of course is no where near as controversial, given it does not have WHS status.
As is often the case with politics there is more at play than just the issue of the city's World Heritage Site status.
Peel, one of the biggest landowners in the North West, is seen by many as the great hope for regenerating north Liverpool - long identified as not having benefited as much as it could or should have from the city's wider renaissance.
Cue a careful balancing act.
Where the line is drawn between protecting the city's heritage remains to be seen.
Peel is correct when it says that currently much of the area earmarked for development is not accessible to the public and great swathes of docklands would be brought back into use.
It is to be hoped that a true compromise can be found, but not one that compromises the World Heritage Site.
To have Unesco inspectors in the city once was unfortunate, to have them here twice would be careless.