Key problem I see is that the expert judgements from ICOMOS carry no weight at all.
I totally agree and even though I am happy to see Naumburg on the list - I didn't want it to happen like this. It almost sours it for me. I have a lot of fondness for Thuringia and the (former DDR) Saxon states.
@pikkle, :) I will admit to a bit of hyperbole there. And I'm sure if I visit it would be a very worthwhile trip. There is a reason Germany is home to my highest WHS visited count.
But within 200km of my home in the south of England I can think of 15 cathedrals that seem to be of similar prominence. I don't think the world heritage list be improved by inscribing all of them, even if my count would be.
I agree that York, Lincoln, Wells, Gloucester, Salisbury, Exeter, Norwich, Winchester & St. David's (Wales obv) are all at least of the same prominence (if not greater, although very different as English cathedral building took a very different architectural path aside from maybe Canterbury and some of the Norman-era (Norwich). Chichester, Worcester, Lichfield, Hereford, Southwell, Carlisle are also great cathedrals, but the others are the best un-listed in England. That isn't counting what are technically parish churches and former abbeys like Beverly, Selby, Boston, Tewkesbury Abbey, etc. The UK doesn't seem interested in putting forward cathedrals at this time, however. I can't blame them after the ugliness that has gone down with ICOMOS and the amount of politicking involved.
One interesting architectural footnote - I was recently in Braunschweig and part of their "cathedral" looks a bit Perpendicular and they actually use the term for this side-aisle of the church. I rarely see the English terms (Early English/Decorated/Perpendicular) used in literature not about the architecture of England.
Edit: that is not to say I want to see all of those cathedrals inscribed, but I think they are worthy - especially those like York, Wells, and Salisbury which have such fantastic cathedral close or in the case of York, entire old towns. I find these sites less redundant than viticulture - especially when we can't get other types of agriculture except coffee plantations listed?