Controversy over Sheffield’s tree felling scheme continues, after local campaigner loses a High Court battle with the council

By Phoebe Fuller

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A retired Sheffield actor who led the charge in gaining a temporary injunction against further tree felling by the city council has vowed “the fight will go on”, after the High Court overturned the ban.

Dave Dilner, 69, was ‘disappointed’ with the ruling, he said: “I am not going away. The issue is not going away and I will continue to do everything I can to save thousands of healthy trees from being felled.”

He has been told by his legal team that he has strong grounds for an appeal, and hopes his appeal will be heard by the High Court next month.

Mr Dilner is not the only Sheffield resident to take exception to the felling of the city’s trees.

Since the inception of the council’s scheme ‘Streets Ahead’ in 2012, thousands of Sheffielders have come together in an attempt to make their voices heard.

Campaigners for Sheffield Tree Action Group (STAG) have been protesting around Sheffield in a desperate bid to ‘save our trees.’

The Streets Ahead scheme, a 25 year council partnership with contractors Amey, is aimed at upgrading and maintaining the streets of Sheffield.

Part of this contract involves a ‘five year tree management strategy’, to remove trees that are dead, dying, and diseased.

Trees that are considered a danger, or a highway obstruction are also being cut down.

Campaigners believe this has lead to thousands of healthy trees being needlessly removed.

According to STAG, more than 3,500 of the city’s street trees have already been felled, and the council estimates that a total of 10,000 street trees will be cut down by 2017.

Despite Sheffield city council insisting they value the views of local residents, there are those who believe this is not the case.

Sheffield councillor Cliff Woodcraft said: “My position is that not enough consideration was given to residents wishes.”

He continued: “I think the intransigence of the council has resulted in polarisation of the issue.”

Simon Green of Sheffield city council said: “What this programme has always been about has been upgrades to the city’s highways network, including protecting our tree stock for the long term ensuring we have decent roads and healthy trees for the future.”

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