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designation Word or Phrase:World Heritage Site  
Definition:World Heritage Sites (WHS) are those sites that are considered to be of universal significance to all humanity. They are designated as such by UNESCO because of their cultural or natural significance.

There are just over 500 World Heritage Sites in the world. Fourteen of these are in Britain and include Hadrian's Wall, the cities of Edinburgh and Bath, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution at Ironbridge, the Palace and Abbey of Westminster, the Tower of London, Blenheim Palace and the prehistoric monuments of Avebury and Stonehenge.

Although World Heritage Sites in Britain are not protected by law, they are recognised in planning guidance as being of special significance. This is taken into account when new developments that might affect a World Heritage Site are being planned.

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