A DECISION on whether to make Charles Darwin’s former home a World Heritage Site may not be made for up to 10 years, a report has revealed.

A Bromley Council report says the government will likely resubmit the World Heritage bid “in the next five to 10 years”, after a decision on it was deferred by UNESCO in August.

The report, sent to the council’s development control committee by a planning officer this week, also reveals that two UNESCO assessors recommended the site be refused World Heritage status.

But UNESCO decided to defer a decision on the site, which consists of Down House and the surrounding landscape in Downe Village, after the government criticised the assessor’s findings.

The council report says: “The application has not been refused, but in practical terms it means the proposal might be resubmitted within the next five to 10 years.”

This will be “subject to work to be undertaken by UNESCO on their criteria and a decision by the government to resubmit the site subject to Bromley support”, the report adds.

On the UNESCO assessors’ recommendation, the council planning officer says the government’s objections included listing “factual errors” in the assessors’ report.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) currently has 911 World Heritage Sites, which gain the status if considered to have “outstanding universal value”.

Darwin’s house and the surrounding landscape was inspiration for his work and a test bed for his ground-breaking ideas.