Appeal to stop tree felling scheme in Sheffield rejected by court

Campaigner Anne Barr, from Nether Edge at a protest earlier this month

Campaigner Anne Barr, from Nether Edge at a protest earlier this month

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Protesters campaigning to stop Sheffield Council’s controversial tree felling programme have had their latest appeal rejected by the court.

Campaigners from Sheffield Tree Action Groups had launched an appeal and new injunction in a bid to halt the Street Ahead scheme that has seen more than 3,000 trees replaced since 2012.

But both challenges have been rejected.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “We are pleased that once again the Council’s actions in relation to street trees have been supported by the court and the claimants appeal and this new attempt, via an injunction, to stop the Streets Ahead works have both been rejected.

“We have said before and reiterate that we are working in the best interests of the whole of the city.

“To date, under the Streets Ahead contract we have replaced just over 3,800 street trees but as a council, since August 2012 alone, we have planted more than 55,700 trees and created 17 new woodlands.

“We do value our green heritage and are working hard each and every day to ensure that we still have trees in the city for future generations to enjoy.

“Now that the court proceedings are over, we hope that we can now be allowed to get on with our street tree replacement programme without fear of further wasteful litigation, the cost of which ends up being paid by council tax payers.”

Fierce debate has raged over the felling of Sheffield’s highway trees since the introduction of the scheme in 2012.

Campaigners insist there are alternatives to removing and replacing mature trees as part of Sheffield Council’s £2.2bn Streets Ahead contract, while the council claims there is no other solution.