'Completely unsustainable' - Sheffield MP calls on council contractor to halt tree felling pending further investigation

A Sheffield MP has called on council contractors to halt tree felling pending further investigation.

Monday, 22nd January 2018, 5:16 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd January 2018, 5:25 pm
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh has called the tree felling situation on Meersbrook Park Road 'completely unsustainable'

Louise Haigh, MP for Heeley, said situation on Meersbrook Park Road is 'completely unsustainable' as the area becomes the latest flashpoint between tree protesters and council contractors.

Protesters have staged demonstrations across Sheffield since council contractor Amey started felling trees as part of a £2.2 billion road improvement programme.

Amey have previously said 'specially-trained stewards' would remove anyone who wilfully obstructed the work of arborists.

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Some 20 trees on the road were referred to the Independent Tree Panel which said 11 could be saved through engineering works.

But Sheffield Council overturned the decision on nine cases and only two were retained.

Ms Haigh, whose constituency includes Meersbrook Park Road, claims the 'varied' and 'unsatisfactory' responses to overturning the the ITP recommendations has 'contributed to the anger' in the community.

Ms Haigh said: “This morning I’ve been down to Meersbrook Park Road, following numerous complaints and after seeing the videos of the conflict taking place on a daily basis. The situation is completely unsustainable."Meersbrook Park Road is a particular cause for concern due to the significant number of trees on the road which were contested by the Independent Tree Panel. Having viewed the Council’s response to the ITP recommendations, the reasons given by the Council are varied and in some cases unsatisfactory."The daily events on Meersbrook Park Road are deeply distressing for local residents and those walking through the area and the park alike. I am therefore calling on the Council to cease felling until the ITP decisions have been reviewed, all options reconsidered and there has been full disclosure of any and all final decisions to fell.”

The council says the trees are either dead, dying, diseased, dangerous or damaging the highway. But campaigners say many healthy trees are being felled for profit.

Sheffield Council has been contacted to comment.