Thousands want to save city centre trees
More than 3,000 people have signed a petition to save four trees in Sheffield city centre.
Fitzalan Square will undergo a redevelopment as part of a multi-million scheme to improve public spaces in the city centre.
But campaigners are upset that four healthy, mature trees will be felled as part of the scheme.
Graham Wroe, who submitted the petition to Sheffield Council, said: "These are the only remaining mature trees in the city centre. Fitzalan Square suffers from poor air quality and removing the trees would affect this. The trees are a thing of beauty next to ugly betting shops and intrusive advertising boards.
“The square certainly needs improving but it should be designed around the trees already there. The city centre has the lowest percentage of tree cover in Sheffield. They provide a natural feature which softens hard lines of buildings and provides shade. These are precious trees and it would take decades to replace them.”
The council says it will be replacing the four trees with 12 new ones.
Coun Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment, said: “We have been able to secure £4.1 million for this project. The reason for removing the trees is because the buses couldn’t turn if they were there.
“The tree roots are also damaging the pavements so regardless of this scheme, we would have had to do something.”