Sheffield tree campaigner vows to fight on after High Court defeat

A bid by a Sheffield resident to have the city's tree felling programme subject to judicial review has failed at the High Court.

Image: Sam Saunders
Image: Sam Saunders

Mr Justice Gilbart today (27 April) dismissed Dave Dillner's bid, saying it was "devoid of merit".

The council has welcomed the judgement. Executive director for place Simon Green said: "This reinforces our legal duty to keep the highway in good repair, pointing out that failure to do so would inevitably result in injuries and legal claims.

"It demonstrates that we have been right to say we are following best practice guidance and working hard in the best interests of the city. While the court is clear that the council's current programme of consultation is sufficient, we remain committed to listening to the residents of the city."

But Dillner said: "The judge was fundamentally wrong to view this case through the prism of finance and any increase in the council's costs - it is about fundamental fairness through public engagement and environmental protection for the trees of Sheffield which are a great environmental asset."

He added: "My legal team does not accept the strident criticism in the judgement and will be appealing the decision to the Court of Appeal before the end of the week on the basis the judge erred as matter of law on the grounds raised in my case.

In the meantime, he said, "I will be seeking the Council's immediate assurance that it will not recommence felling until the Court of Appeal has considered whether to grant permission for my case to be heard. Given that the proceedings remain in dispute I look forward to discussing with the Council officers an agreed way forward to ensure no unnecessary felling ensues in the short term."

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