It looks as if Seville
could become another "cause celebre" re Development v World Heritage - and even a potential delisting if UNESCO picks it up and runs with it!
At issue is a planned skyscraper - The Pelli Tower. (Pelli designed the Petronas towers. If constructed it would be the tallest buillding in Seville where, ironically, the inscribed Giralda Tower in its original manifestation as a minaret was once the tallest tower in the World)
The objections (you will find the usual blogs etc from objecting organisations/groups if you search on "Pelli Tower Seville") have a general conservation aspect re impact on Seville old town and a nearby Carthusian Monastery. But the issue of interest to this forum is that ICOMOS Spain seems to be concentrating on using the 3 buildings inscribed as World Heritage within Seville (which are some distance away from the proposed tower) as its main leverage against the development (Interestingly Seville hasn't used these 3 buildings to join OWHC and stake a claim to be a "World Heritage City" in its entirety!). That action is proposed in this report from ICOMOS Spain of late 2008 proposing that the Seville WHS be put on the "In Danger" list. http://www.ecovast.ru/images/REPORT_SEVILLE.pdf
I wonder if this could be discussed at the WHC later this month - it isn't clear if this report was a formal one whose discussion at the WHC is "automatic"? Another report I found on the Web has indicated a start date for the tower of May this year so it is certainly a "current", even "urgent", issue! But, if so, it would all be a bit embarrassing really when they are holding the WHC in the very city which is potentially "at fault" and the Spanish rep is chairing the WH Committee which seems likely to delist Dresden!! Nb the proposed building is not only outside the inscribed area (it isn't clear if the 3 buildings also have a "buffer zone" but, as they were inscribed as long ago as 1987, it seems unlikely - the Advisory Body report doesn't mention one and nor, as far as I can see, does this one) but also outside the designated Historic Zone of the city. ICOMOS however still claims that such a development creates a "category of peril" to the inscribed site that should justify action. This is an interesting example of how the planning control "reach" potentially involved in a WHS inscription extends way beyond what many people might have expected - in this case to any building which can be seen
from an inscribed site even if it is outside the buffer zone.
I have Googled another relevant document which might also be of interest as it contains some nice detail on how WHS status and documents are used as an argument against such developments and expands on why ICOMOS regard the spoilation of the view as being significant despite the tower being some distance away from the inscribed buildings - i.e old drawings etc of historic views - shades of Canaletto and Dresden!! The document is a letter from ICOMOS Spain of March 2009 to Ray Bondin (president of CIVVIH and a member of the ICOMOS executive) complaining about a response from Georges Zouain which unfortunately i can't find on the Web. He was once Deputy Director of the WHC Paris and is presumably still "well linked" into the WHC coterie. He is now a Heritage Consultant - see his CV here and then go to his company website and follow various links as your interest leads in order to get a feeling for the quite sizeable "opportunities" available within the heritage consultancy sector http://www.linkedin.com/pub/georges-zouain/5/840/a95
! So the rather angry letter points out that "he heads a private firm hired by the company developing the skyscraper"!! It then gets quite "personal" and nasty (this seems to be common in heritage disputes!).http://www.ecovast.ru/images/About%20Georges%20Zouain%20message.pdf
As the links show, I originally found each of these documents on the site of ecovast.ru. which is the Russian branch of ECOVAST = "European Council for the Village and Small Town" (most of its site is in Russian Cyrillic). Quite why they should be there I don't know - I later found the report itself via a CIAV newsletter of April 2009 on a Finnish site - but not the letter criticising Zouain. If you might want to refer to it in future it might be worth downloading it while you can!