High Court pauses Sheffield tree felling for three months

by | Feb 9, 2016 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Tree felling across Sheffield has been put on hold after the High Court granted a three month injunction to stop the axe.

Heeley tree campaigner Dave Dilner was granted a High Court interim injunction on Friday, preventing Sheffield Council and its contractor Amey felling trees.

A council spokesman said bosses had held meetings with the local authority’s legal team and will challenge the decision.

The spokesman said: “The injunction will last for around three months, during which time we will be challenging the injunction and continuing to assess the condition of the highway trees, but not felling them.

“A meeting was held with our legal team and we may have more information about our next steps after that meeting.”

Mr Dilner launched the legal challenge against the council in London’s High Court, requesting an urgent interim injunction to halt felling of trees until there has been a judicial review.

Campaigners raised more than £7,500 in less than 24 hours to fund the legal bid.

Two petitions which both surpassed the 5,000-signature mark have been debated at two separate full council meetings.

Campaigners say their questions are not being answered by councillors.

Fionn Stevenson, professor of sustainable design at the University of Sheffield, said: “It is really sad when the people of Sheffield have to take their own council to court.

“We have tried so hard, using expert advice from a variety of sources, to show that there is another, more flexible way forward with Amey which can keep the city’s valuable mature street trees and save the council money in the long run.

“The final blow was the latest public debate on the issue in relation to the Nether Edge petition in the Town Hall on Wednesday.

“Councillors chose simply to ignore the questions put to them by the public, and concentrated on point scoring instead. It was a bad day for democracy.”

Coun Terry Fox, cabinet member for Environment and Transport, said: “There are many myths surrounding this issue.

“Let me be absolutely clear, this is a programme of protection, not destruction. We are investing in the future of Sheffield’s trees.

“We are not removing 18,000 trees as the campaigners have been suggesting. We look after 36,000 street trees and will remove and replace around 14 per cent.”