Plans for future of Sheffield's street trees to be announced

Sheffield City Council, Amey and Sheffield Tree Action Group (STAG) are due to announce plans for the city's street trees following a final round of mediated talks.

Talks between the three groups started in August to reach a compromise.

It comes after about 5,500 trees were chopped down since 2012 under a £2.2 billion contract between Amey and the council to improve the conditions of the highways.

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The talks took place between councillor Lewis Dagnall, cabinet member for streetscene and environment, representatives from Amey and Paul Brooke and Chris Rust, co-chairs of STAG.

They were chaired by the Rt Rev Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield. 

In their most recent joint statement, they said: 'Sheffield City Council, Amey and STAG have completed a fourth day of constructive talks on the street trees issue.

'We intend to do a further joint communication shortly with more details of what has been discussed and publish the council's plan for the way forward.'

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Bishop Pete added: 'This morning's meeting was the last in the series which it was my privilege to chair. The end of this phase of the process is an encouraging sign. I have been impressed by the commitment of everyone involved and I can vouch for the real progress which has been made.'

During the series of talks the council announced they would not be axing 32 trees originally due to be felled, including 20 World War One memorial trees. 

The council said only '˜dead, diseased, dangerous or dying' trees would be cut. 

But campaigners said of the 305 trees still planned to be axed, more than 280 are healthy. 

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It is expected that more trees will be saved as a result of the discussions.

Paul Brooke recently said: 'From talks with the council we fully anticipate that other trees are also going to be saved. They are still finalising plans but we are helping them find ways to save as many as possible.'