Will tree protection order stop historic Sheffield cricket club’s plans?

Sheffield Council is set to approve a preservation order to protect a group of mature trees from plans for a ball net at one of Yorkshire's oldest cricket clubs.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 9:47 pm

Planning permission for a 15 metre high ball-stop net on Hallam Cricket Club’s ground on Sandygate Road was granted conditionally in a council meeting last year.

The club has played there for more than 200 years and said without the nets two of its teams would have to stop playing cricket.

Richard Storer, an official at the club, said in the meeting where it was approved: “Without those teams we would lose the progression for our young players into adult cricket, we would lose the coaches who work with our juniors and the managers who run their teams. Without those teams we would lose the volunteers who provide the human infrastructure of our club and opportunities for players and youngsters across Sheffield will decline.”

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The cricket club.

But an assessment by the council showed the installation of the masts could mean the loss of several large, mature trees.

A tree preservation order was recommended for approval at a meeting of the planning and highways committee next week to protect them.

If approved, it may prohibit the cutting, topping, lopping or uprooting of the trees which are the subject of the order. It may also prohibit the wilful damage or destruction of those trees. Anyone who breaks such rules is guilty of an offence and could be hit with a fine of up to £20,000.

The council said the assessment, carried out by the landscape planning officer and tree officer from the council’s urban and environmental design team, produced a “clear recommendation for protection”.

They said: “The trees are large, mature specimens and of significant amenity value when viewed from Sandygate Road, Carsick Hill Road and Coldwell Lane, contributing to the leafy character of this area of the city. They are considered to contribute positively to the visual amenity of the area.”

The council said it received no objections to the order.

But Mr Storer, of the club, confirmed it will not affect their plans as they had already taken the trees into account.

He said: "This is the confirmation of a temporary TPO that was issued before the approval of the ball-stop netting, so the revised plans took this into account and adjusted the position of the masts and it's these revisions that were approved.

"The very small number of trees and shrubs, on the Sandygate Road (northern) boundary that would need to come down for the nets are not included in the TPO. That is why there has been no objection made.

"The nets still require various other planning conditions to be met before we can put them up and we are working through these now. Hopefully they will be complete before the end of the summer."