Injunction Case Shock Result

The judge in the injunction case shocked everyone yesterday, by not only granting injunctions against the 3 named defendants, but against “persons unknown” as well.
Though the injunction is not due to come into force until next Tuesday (22nd August 2017), the defendants have only 48 hours to appeal the ruling. They are currently seeking legal advice.
The Save Nether Edge Trees group will be holding a public meeting at The Banner Cross Hotel this coming Monday to discuss how the ruling affects the campaign and where we go from here. All supporters welcome.
The fight goes on.
Click here to download a copy of the full 27 page ruling.

If you have found this information useful then please consider helping us protect your trees, by donating some money to the legal fund.

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Save Nether Edge Trees Public Meeting – 21st August 2017

The next Save Nether Edge Trees public meeting will be held on Monday 21st August at 8.00pm.

The main focus of the meeting is likely to be the verdict of the injunction case, which is currently due to announce on Tuesday 15th August. The announcement will be followed by a 48 hour period during which either side can appeal.

Location is the upstairs room at the Banner Cross Pub, 971 Ecclesall Road.

Please arrive by 7.45pm for a prompt start at 8.00pm. Thanks.

All supporters welcome


If you have found this information useful then please consider helping us protect your trees, by donating some money to the legal fund.

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Shocking Pictures Of Swaledale Road

Another in the series of shocking pictures have been released showing Swaledale Road with all its threatened trees removed.

Sadly, since the ‘before’ picture was taken in April, seven of the ten trees have been felled.  This only serves to remind us all exactly what we are fighting to protect.

Please feel free to download and print copies of the files below to share amongst your friends and neighbours to show them how their Council is vandalising its green spaces.

swaledalebefore.jpg
swaledaleafter.jpg

SwaledaleBeforeAfter


If you have found this information useful then please consider helping us protect your trees, by donating some money to the legal fund.

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The Independent Tree Panel Costs Revealed

Freedom of information requests have revealed just how much Sheffield council has spent on the advice from its ‘Independent Tree Panel‘, which it often then ignored.

2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 *
Staff costs for consultation support and administration 24,125 15,750
No costs incurred
Postage and delivery costs 2,621 20,839 No costs incurred
Payments made to members of the Independent Tree Panel 11,712 28,508
28,149.50
Total 38,458 65,097 28,150
Grand Total 131,705
(as of 03.08.2017)
* The 2017/18 figures show costs incurred to date and do not represent the final costs incurred to the Council.
(Not all invoices from ITP members have yet been received)

For more information on how often the council listened to the recommendations to save a threatened tree click here.


If you have found this information useful then please consider helping us protect your trees, by donating some money to the legal fund.

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The Legal Battle: Latest Update

The following comprehensive update on last weeks court case was provided by Chris Rust of STAG.

“As everyone is aware, the three day High Court hearing on SCC’s request for injunctions against our supporters ended on Friday.

The Judge stated that he will need ‘up to two weeks’ to come to a decision*. As well as the evidence and the complex legal arguments presented in court he has to consider other material submitted by both parties.

The case depends on two inter-related issues: whether actions taken by defendants and others are illegal as argued by SCC and whether all the tree felling work is part of the highway renewal scheme, or part of a separate tree maintenance scheme.

If any tree work is not part of the highway renewal then it is not subject to the Highways Act and SCC’s arguments about legality of protests are not relevant. John Cooper QC, on behalf of the defendants, argued that the secrecy of the contract made it impossible to tell if part or all of the tree work came under the Highways Act.

The Judge had the option to insist that the contract was made available but chose not to, he did say that it would be of no value if he could see it unless the defence could also see it. SCC resisted several requests from John Cooper to make it available. One can read almost anything into the Judge’s position on this, for or against our case.

It was also argued, particularly by Dave Dillner in his evidence, that SCC had never been willing to engage in open constructive discussion with those who oppose the fellings. Although this may have no bearing on the legal case it could be significant in the wider scheme of things that the Judge may consider.

At the close of the hearing the Judge did not impose an interim injunction. John Cooper requested a time limit of 6 months on any damages that might be awarded and no doubt the Judge will consider that.

It was a very gruelling three days for all concerned, especially the defendants. SCC acknowledged that the defendants and other protestors had been peaceful and not confrontational in their approach. John Cooper made the case that this was quite different from many campaigns because it involved ordinary citizens with unblemished records protesting about problems in their own city. The Judge thanked the defendants and their legal team for the very great efforts that had been made to bring their case to court in a remarkably short time.

It is impossible to say which way this will go. The Judge was very impartial and businesslike, at all times friendly and respectful towards all concerned and helpful when any misunderstandings or confusion arose (he was often ahead of all parties in his grasp of the facts)

So our friends have had their three days in court and gave a very good account of themselves. A number of issues were exposed that made SCC uncomfortable and gained good publicity for the campaign regardless of the end result.”

* UPDATE – The judge sequentially delayed his decision until Tuesday 15th August.

Click here to see a BBC interview with defendant Calvin Payne outside the court.


If you have found this information useful then please consider helping us protect your trees, by donating some money to the legal fund.

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Independent Tree Panel Result Summary – Final

Summary Of Results

Sheffield Council has now released all of the Independent Tree Panel’s recommendations, as well as its own response to those recommendations.

Adding these to the previously released information, here are the final summary statistics:

150 roads were referred to the ITP, and on these roads there were 802 trees for consideration.

Of the 802 trees:

  • 44 (5.5%) were dead or had already been removed;
  • 130 (16.2%) were dying or diseased so the ITP agreed with their removal;
  • 628 (78.3%) were perfectly healthy so the ITP seriously considered them.

Of the 628 healthy trees the ITP recommended:

  • Saving 307 of them (48.9%), suggesting using one of the 14 free engineering solutions;
  • Saving a further 5 trees (0.8%) as special cases (The Vernon Road Oak, the Chelsea Road Elm, a “rare” Italian Alder on Kenbourne Road, a “magnificent” London Plane on Vainor Road), and one on Spring Hill Road, using one of the additional engineering solutions;
  • Felling 316 of them (50.3%) as the damage to the road or pavement was too substantial

Of the 312 trees that the ITP recommended saving, the Council ignored them on 237 trees (76% of the time).

Of the 75 trees “saved” by the ITP process, five trees were incorrectly identified or listed by Amey and were therefore administrative errors, so 69 are “genuine saves”.  Nearly all were listed as “temporary” reprieves.

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:

  • 4698 would have been healthy, 1302 would have been dead, dying, diseased, or already removed
  • 2335 of the 6000 trees are being unnecessarily felled

In summary:

  • Despite the lack of transparency, the ITP do at least seem to be partly 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 75 trees (9.4%) out of the 802 considered, only 70 of which (8.7%) is a genuine saving.
  • The process has cost the Council over £1 million in contract penalties as a result of the delays it has caused. If only that money had actually been spent on saving trees using proper pragmatic solutions.
(as of 01.08.2017)

If you have found this information useful then please consider helping us protect your trees, by donating some money to the legal fund.

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The Final Independent Tree Panel Results

The final Independent Tree Panel result has been published, along with the council’s ultimate decision.

Thornsett Road

Please see the updated ITP results page, for details and a summary of the ITP’s published results.


If you have found this information useful, then please consider helping us protect your trees, by donating some money to the legal fund.

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