29 May – There was an outcry by Crookes residents this morning as a developer tried to remove trees and hedges, prior to planning permission.
The land at the top of Cobden View Road, in Crookes, is a green space which was adopted by the community over fifty years ago as a Community Garden. Local residents have maintained and enjoyed it ever since. The area has also flourished into a wildlife haven over recent years.
However on the morning of 29 May a developer tried to remove trees and hedges from this land in an attempt to help with a forthcoming planning application.
This caused outcry locally and Councillor Anne Murphy immediately set-about getting the works’ stopped.
Anne Murphy, Labour Councillor for Crookes and Crosspool:
“I was contacted at 7.30am by local residents explaining that builders had arrived with chain saws and were removing the trees and bushes on the site.
“I contacted the Council’s enforcement officer, the local police, the Council’s ecologist and my Labour colleague Bob Johnson, who’s the Cabinet Member for Development.
“They were all brilliant. The Council’s enforcement was on site by 8.30am and the police shortly after, whilst the Ecology department communicated with the Police and gave them the appropriate information they needed to get the builders to stop the work.
“Councillor Johnson also put his support behind our officers and the Police in any action they need to take. I’m very grateful for their support in stopping the builders and supporting the local residents concerns”.
Police will now investigate the matter, however Sheffield City Council are advising that should anyone witness anything similar on the site to report this immediately to the Wildlife Crime Officer at South Yorkshire Police, on the non-emergency number 101 – using reference number 224 and todays date 29/05/2020.
No planning application has been validated by Sheffield City Council and no decision has been taken.
Councillor Bob Johnson, Labour Cabinet Member for Development:
“Council officers and the police were brilliant and acted really quickly.
“Advice was given in relation to disturbing nesting birds, which is an offence, as well as the potential requirement for planning consent in relation to the fence
“What I want to see now is a follow-up on the public right of way registration for the path at the side and steps, and see what we can legally do in other areas. There is currently no Public Right of Way recorded on this land. However, it is possible that rights have become established over time and this will be looked into.
“It is not appropriate for me to comment on the police investigation but needless to say we will assist them in any way we can”.
“If a Planning application is due to be considered, local residents will of course be able to raise any comments they may have before any decision is made by the Council’s cross-party Planning committee”