Controversial tree-felling work on a Sheffield street will restart next week after being ‘paused’ following clashes between security staff and protesters.
Amey, which is carrying out the removal and replacement of thousands of street trees in the city on behalf of Sheffield Council as part of a £2.2bn highways improvement contract, has said work will begin again following a “review of on-site working practices”.
Amey workers withdrew from Meersbrook Park Road earlier this week following demonstrations which resulted in both campaigners and employees making allegations they had been assaulted to South Yorkshire Police. The company said yesterday the decision had been made “in the interests of everyone’s safety”.
But a spokeswoman said today: “Streets Ahead highway improvement works are ongoing across the city. This week, we conducted a regular review of on-site working practices around tree works and so, the programme of works was amended whilst this was undertaken. Work on highway trees will continue next week.”
The clashes came after Amey brought in a “specially-trained stewarding team” earlier this month to remove protesters going inside safety zones around trees. Around 5,500 trees have been removed and replaced with saplings since 2012 but campaigners argue that many removals are unnecessary.
Twenty trees on Meersbrook Park Road were previously referred to an Independent Tree Panel which said 11 could be saved through engineering works. But Sheffield Council has overturned the recommendation in nine cases.