Independent Tree Panel Result Summary – May 2017

Sheffield Council have rapidly been publishing Independent Tree Panel results of late. The following is a summary of their recommendations, and the Council’s response to those recommendations, taking into account previously released information.

summary statistics:

150 roads have been referred to the ITP, but so far the ITP recommendations have only been published for 64 of these roads. These 64 roads had 305 trees for consideration.

Of the 305 trees:

– 22 (7.2%) were dead or had already been removed;
– 55 (18%) were dying or diseased so the ITP agreed with their removal;
– 228 (74.8%) were perfectly healthy so the ITP seriously considered them.

Of the 228 healthy trees the ITP recommended:

– Saving 97 of them (42.5%), suggesting using one of the 14 free engineering solutions;
– Saving a further three trees (1.3%) as special cases (The Vernon Road Oak, a rare Italian Alder on Kenbourne Road, and a “magnificent” London Plane on Vainor Road) using one of the additional engineering solutions;
– Felling 128 of them (56.1%) as the damage to the road or pavement was too substantial
– The ITP advice was missing for a further tree

Of the 100 trees that the ITP recommended saving, the Council ignored them on 94 trees (94% of the time).

Of the 6 trees “saved” by the ITP process, only one is a genuine “saving.” The other five trees were incorrectly identified or listed by Amey and were therefore administrative errors.

In nearly all cases where the Council decided to ignore ITP recommendations to save, they have been vague about why, and have seemingly accepted Amey advice, unquestioned.

Extrapolating these numbers across the 6000 trees being felled in the first five years of the 25 year PFI contract:

– 4488 would have been healthy, 1512 would have been dead, dying, diseased, or already removed
– 1966 of the 6000 trees are being unnecessarily being felled

In conclusion:

– Despite the lack of transparency, the ITP did at least at first seem to be genuinely independent;
– The Council have questionable engineering expertise, and so are pretty much forced to accept Amey advice above the ITP advice;
So far the process has only saved 6 trees (2%) out of the 305 considered, only one of which (0.3%) is a genuine saving.

Click here for published ITP Results.

(as of 27.05.2017)
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