Landmark Chambers


Committal proceedings against Sheffield tree protestors

DATE: 31 Oct 2017

This case involved the long-running stand-off between Sheffield City Council and tree campaigners as to the Council’s decision to remove, and replace, a large number of trees from its highways.

On 15 August 2017, Males J granted an injunction against three named defendants and persons unknown. It stated that individuals must not, within the administrative area of Sheffield:

  1. Enter any safety zone erected around any tree; and/or
  2. Seek to prevent the erection of any safety zone; and/or
  3. Remain in any safety zone after it is erected; and/or
  4. Knowingly leave any vehicle in any safety zone or intentionally place a vehicle in a position so as to prevent the erection of a safety zone;
  5. Encourage, aid, counsel, direct or facilitate anybody else to do any of the matters in paragraphs (1) to (4) above including by posting social media messages.

A "safety zone" was defined as "that area delineated by barriers erected on the public highway around a tree to be felled".

Sheffield City Council brought committal proceedings against Calvin Payne and Alison Teal for alleged breaches of this injunction occurring between 25 September 2017 and 6 October 2017.

A committal hearing was held on 27 October 2017. By his judgment, dated 31 October 2017, Males J dismissed the case against Alison Teal but found Calvin Payne in contempt on three counts.  

David Forsdick QC and Yaaser Vanderman appeared for Sheffield City Council.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.