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Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site (IGWHS)

Information about World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites (WHS) are designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

A list of World Heritage Sites was established in 1978 which forms the cultural and natural heritage that the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site was inscribed as one of the first World Heritage Sites in the UK in 1986. 

The world heritage site status itself does not provide any additional legal protection or planning rules but in recognition of the particular importance of the Gorge the Council has specific planning policies and a raft of guidance to encourage best conservation practice.

The majority of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site is also designated as a conservation area, again with planning policies to preserve and enhance character and appearance.

View more information about planning policies in regard to Conservation Areas.

In addition, for all dwelling houses an Article 4 Direction is in place removing some permitted development rights and brings under planning control certain items that elsewhere would not need consent. Telford & Wrekin Council's Planning have published the World Heritage Site residents guide to help with planning matters.

View information about the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site guide for residents living within the World Heritage Site.

Telford & Wrekin Council is the managing authority of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site and it has been UK Government policy that all UK world heritage sites should have management plans. The production of the Ironbridge Gorge Management Plan is overseen by the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site (IGWHS) Steering Group. 

Download the Ironbridge Gorge Management Plan

Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire Council are consulting on a joint supplementary planning document (SPD) to protect and conserve the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site (IGWHS). The consultation takes place between 9 January 2023 to 20 February 2023.

View the draft IGWHS supplementary planning document and details of the consultation.

Last updated: 16/01/2023 08:01

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