By Luc Vezzu
Protestors halted the cutting down of trees following the restart of the Sheffield tree replacement programme.
The Streets Ahead scheme resumed today following a high court ruling, after it had previously been put on hold due to pressure from residents and campaign groups.
Today, protestors stopped the felling of four trees on Totley Brook Road, Dore, after it emerged that the application for TPOs on that street had not yet been processed.
Concerns were previously raised towards the continuation of the scheme by activist groups, who are worried about disruption to wildlife during the nesting season.
In 2012, AMEY entered into a PFI contract with Sheffield City Council worth £2.2bn, with aims to redevelop roadside trees across Sheffield.
The Sheffield Tree Action Group have criticised AMEY’s operation and say that it “involves the cutting down of mature, healthy trees.”
Sheffield resident and activist Dave Dilner challenged the council on the contract, although the court ruled in favour of the council, therefore allowing the scheme to resume.
Following the decision, Mr Dilner said, “The judge was fundamentally wrong to view this case through the prism of finance.”
The Sheffield Tree Action Group was set up in opposition to the plans that have put 18,000 of Sheffield’s roadside trees at risk.
Activist Polly Morley said, “I am concerned that these trees would have been felled today without STAG intervention”
Following the incident, yellow ribbons were tied to the trees by protestors.
Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for the environment, has responded to the opposition to the scheme, he said, “We respect their right to protest but will not tolerate any activity which obstructs the work or which places members of the public and our staff in harm’s way.”