Consultation on the proposed removal and replacement of two Ash Trees on Angel St

Closed 21 Nov 2021

Opened 1 Nov 2021

Results expected 24 Nov 2021

Feedback expected 25 Nov 2021

Overview

Consultation on the proposed removal (and replacement) of two ash trees at the bottom of Angel Street (1 November 2021)

  1. Overview:

Construction is currently underway of the last phase of the Grey to Green Phase 2 on Angel Street, a major regeneration and highway upgrade to the area due to be completed in early 2022. A copy of the design is available in the grey panel at the bottom of this page.

There are two Raywood Ash trees outside Kommune which the project has scope to remove and replace as part of this uplift of the general area.

There are a number of reasons for this proposal: uncertainty as to whether they will remain safe, low useful life expectancy, tendency towards and proven history of branch failure in a high footfall city centre area, current major highway/ regeneration highway upgrade (Grey to Green Angel St) and the potential for their re-dedication to the Sheffield Anti-Apartheid Movement. 

A large limb has previously failed in the larger of the two trees, but they are not deemed to present an immediate safety threat. The smaller of the two trees has a CAVAT valuation of £3,115 and the larger tree has a CAVAT valuation of £5,498

An independent report has been commissioned on these two trees and undertaken by ECUS environmental consultation and this report is also available in the grey panel at the bottom of this page.

The Council are fully aware of the commemorative nature of these trees to “the 25th Anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre and as an act of solidarity with the liberation struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa."

This consultation therefore seeks to understand whether the public would be supportive of the removal and replacement of these trees and their rededication to the Sheffield Anti-Apartheid Movement.

 

  1. Grey to Green Phase 2 Angel Street works and the two ash trees proposed for removal.

The public realm and environmental transformation of Angel Street under the latest Grey to Green project is currently on site. This £800k investment will provide colourful meadows, a sustainable drainage system (which helps to reduce flooding risk), new paving, an improved environment for walking and cycling and a rejuvenated public space at the bottom of Angel St. These improvements will dramatically enhance the experience of visiting, living and working in the area and supporting existing businesses and civic buildings through new footfall. You can view the concept design for the scheme in the grey panel.

The Grey to Green (G2G) Phase 2 Angel Street project is a continuation of the award winning G2G Phase 1 (between West Bar Green and Lady’s Bridge completed in 2016) and the G2G Phase 2 Exchange Place/ Castlegate (the street)/ Snig Hill which planted 57 new trees, completed in September 2020.

There are 6 trees in the works area. 4 lime trees going down Angel Street and 2 Ash Trees at the bottom of Angel Street, outside Kommune (Castle House). All 6 were originally intended to be left in situ.

There are no issues with the retention of the 4 x lime trees. However, having recently excavated around the two ash trees to remove the paving and undertake the Grey to Green project works (which includes full repaving and redesign of the public space to allow a better use) and taking into account their current state, there is concern for the long term viability of these two trees.

These trees were planted in 1985 and dedicated (through a plaque on site) to the “Sharpeville Massacre and as an act of solidarity with the liberation struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa."

The proposal for the removal of these two trees is summarised in the reasons below and has taken into account the findings of the independent report commissioned from ECUS environmental consultancy which you can find at the bottom of this page:

 

1. Current condition. A large limb has previously failed in the larger of the two trees, but they are not deemed to present an immediate safety threat. Additionally, one of the trees shows clear signs of being suppressed by the other tree resulting in a prominent lean to the North-west and an overall smaller crown and stem diameter. These trees are prone to branch failure and as there is a seating area underneath the trees and more planned following the G2G2 Angel Street works, it is considered an unsuitable type of tree to have at this location of seating area and heavy footfall. The CAVAT values provided are relatively low (£3,115 and £5,498).

 

2. Risk of ash die back. As explained in the ECUS report. Although no ADB symptoms were evident in the two trees, it is becoming increasingly difficult to assign ash trees an estimated life expectancy, due to the prevalence of ADB in Sheffield and the UK. If clear signs ADB signs are found on sites or within the localised area, it is highly likely that the ash trees on that site or within the area will succumb in a relatively short period.

 

3. Risk to the trees due to on-going highway works. The Angel Street works will require extensive paving and some digging/excavation near the trees for a new planted area (flower meadow). There are also plans for a utility diversion as well as the installation of a channel to contain water running down Angel Street near the trees. The project will mitigate these issues by working to BS 5837. However, there remains risks as identified by the ECUS report.

 

4.  Major opportunity to replace the two trees with semi-mature trees and adequate sized pits The major regeneration scheme on Angel Street (budget circa £800k) provides the opportunity, if trees are taken down and replanted, of providing a ‘proper’ tree pit and adequate size of new trees (semi mature) which will not be possible as a retro-fit once the works are completed;

 

5. Opportunity to rededicate the trees and the new public space at a fitting opening ceremony once the G2G2 Angel Street works are completed in 2022. We have the opportunity to help publicise and update the status of the Sheffield anti-apartheid movement as well as provide a higher standard and prominence than the current plaque (fairly unknown) does during a fitting opening ceremony which would dedicate the whole space to this cause, in collaboration with people who were involved at the time (Richard Caborn), the black community of Sheffield (through SADACCA) and others such as Paul Blomfield MP.

 

  1. Proposal

The proposal is to remove the two ash trees and replace with one or two appropriate semi-mature trees. The space is tight for two trees and one of the existing trees is quite bent as it has suppressed by the tree next to it. We will aim to replant two but are constrained by space, our aility to put in appropriate tree pits and the services on site.

The type of trees will ultimatley be decided with SADACCA (Sheffield and District African and Caribbean Association) as well as other relevant stakeholders (the project’s landscape architect and tree experts), but we are welcoming suggestions in the survey below.

 

Why your views matter

The Sheffield Tree Partnership have developed the draft Sheffield Street Tree Partnership Working Strategy.  This sets out our commitment to explain to local residents the reasons behind decisions to remove trees, and provide the opportunity to challenge these decisions through an open and transparent process.

A copy of the draft strategy is available at: https://www.wildsheffield.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/FINAL-Sheffield-Street-Tree-Partnership-Working-Strategy-July-2020.pdf

What happens next

This consultation has now closed.

We will provide a summary of the results of the consultation on this page, and so watch this space.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Streets Ahead