Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield tree felling compromise agreement

Tree felling in Sheffield Image copyright PA
Image caption There has been a long-running row in Sheffield over Thousands of trees that have been cut down since 2012

A compromise has been reached between campaigners and a council in a long-running row over the felling of trees.

Work has been on hold since March following clashes between workers and campaigners during protests about the future Sheffield's street trees.

Now no healthy tree will be felled in the city unless no other solution can be found.

A new tree strategy will be drawn up between the council, contractors and campaigners.

Thousands of trees have been felled since the start of a £2.2bn 25-year programme of works, having been assessed as either dangerous, dead, diseased, dying, damaging or discriminatory.

They are being replaced with saplings.

However, many of the trees classed as damaging or discriminatory are healthy specimens which should not be cut down but saved say campaigners.

They say amendments should be made to surrounding pavements and roads.

The dispute led to a number of protests resulting in the authority announcing a pause in the programme earlier this year.

Image caption Lewis Dagnall has said that some specifications of the tree felling contract had been relaxed

Earlier this year two campaigners were given suspended prison sentences for being in contempt of court by breaching an injunction over the tree-felling.

But on Thursday councillor Lewis Dagnall who is responsible for the environment portfolio in Sheffield said: "[Contractor] Amey have come forward with extra funding.

"We've relaxed some of the specifications of the contract and we can now see the proposals shift on these with Amey going out and doing extra [street] engineering work, keeping track of these trees for the next few years to check that they're staying safe."

Paul Brooke from Sheffield Trees Action Group: "We welcome the fact that 100 or so trees, maybe more, might not now need to be felled.

"It comes about after months of talks and work with the council.

"A lot of the solutions that Amey are going to do might not have been first choice or might not have been things within the contract."

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