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Council raises concerns for Sheffield's street trees due to planned fibre broadband work across the city

Generic street tree
Sheffield street tree

On behalf of Sheffield City Council, Council Leader Tom Hunt has responded to concerns the Council has regarding potential damage to Sheffield's street trees, during the installation of telegraph poles and overhead wires where improvements to fibre broadband are being made. 

Leader of Sheffield City Council, Cllr Tom Hunt said: “We have been informed by several telecommunications companies of their plans to install telegraph poles and overhead wires in some parts of the city to improve and expand fibre broadband services.

“Whilst the installation of broadband services is important, we are concerned about potential damage to Sheffield’s much loved and hard-fought-for street trees which could result from this work. We have written to the companies who are conducting the work to raise concerns. We have encouraged them to engage with the Council and the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership and asked them to consider alternative means of installation.

“We are pleased that we have received responses and meetings with the companies will now be arranged. We hope we can work together to ensure this work takes place while ensuring our streets are protected.

“We fully understand and share the long-held passion that people in Sheffield have for street trees and we are doing all that we can to ensure that street trees are protected.”


For information:

  • A large project of work is being undertaken across Sheffield to install fibre broadband to our communities and as part of this a large number of telegraph poles have been proposed to be installed. Whilst accepting that the installation of services is important for our communities, the Council is concerned that this has the potential to cause significant damage to a large number of the city’s street trees.
  • Whilst the Council does not have the power to stop this, we are engaging proactively with the telecommunications companies and asking them to consider alternative means of installation. Leader of Sheffield City Council, Cllr Tom Hunt and Chief Executive Kate Josephs wrote to all telecommunications companies involved last week, asking them to engage with SCC and consider alternative methods.  
  • It is possible to install fibre broadband through trenching, and this is done in many other locations across the country. It is a straightforward process to install this way, all we ask is that in accordance with the British Standards and National Joint Utility Group Standards, sufficient space is left away from the tree roots to stop them being cut or damaged in the installation process.