In Sheffield City Council v Fairhall  EWHC 2121 (QB), the Court has been asked to consider the extent to which the decision in DPP v Jones  UKHL 5;  2 AC 240 can be relied upon as a right to conduct peaceful but disruptive protest on the highway.
There has been a long battle in Sheffield to prevent the local authority’s tree-felling programme. In an effort to discharge its obligation under s.41 of the Highways Act 1980 more efficiently, Sheffield City Council contracted out its maintenance contract to Amey Hallam Highways Ltd. In operating the contract, Amey identified a large number of trees, many of them healthy, that it wished to cut down. Campaigners believed that the contract into which Sheffield City Council entered was unlawful as it put, the Defendant submitted, profiteering (by Amey) and cost-cutting (by the Council) ahead of its environmental obligations.