The website for Hartley, from the Friends of Hartley Countryside


Local Government
Local Information
Phone Masts

Getting in Touch

Write or e-mail to:

The Secretary
Friends of Hartley Countryside
Romney Cottage
Stack Lane


Telephone Masts

Click here for details of Orange's application for a 90 foot mast at Downs Valley.

For general information on planning matters, see our planning page.

The Friends of Hartley Countryside have a strong track record in fighting against inappropriate development in Hartley. We have been very concerned about these proposed telephone masts which are not only in the Green Belt, but also close to people's homes. So our group sent in strong objections to the planning applications by T-mobile at Church Road and Orange at Downs Valley (click on link to read our letters of objection).

On this page we have set out some background notes on the subject.

Planning Background

Planning Policy Guidance Note 8 ("PPG8") is guidance from the government which local councils have to take into account when deciding whether to grant permission. PPG8 starts by saying the government wants to encourage mobile phones while keeping environmental damage to a minimum and protecting public health (para 1). However "great emphasis" is placed on Green Belt Policies (para 3). It sets out pre application publicity required and urges local authorities to inform as many people affected as possible (para 12). Other important factors for the council to consider are:

  • Protection from visual intrusion (para 14)
  • Green Belt "in green belts telecommunications development is likely to be inappropriate unless it maintains openness. Inappropriate development may proceed only if very circumstances are demonstrated which outweigh the degree of harm to the Green Belt" (para 17). One example they give is if there is absolutely no other site available to meet network needs.
  • Mast sharing and use of existing structures (paras 19-23).
  • Design. Is it appropriate to area?(paras 24-28)
  • Health. Can in principle be considered by the council(paras 29-31)

Sevenoaks District Plan Policy number EN29 states that says telecommunications masts are only acceptable if there are no less obstrusive sites available, there is no possibility of sharing sites, and no mature trees will be lost.

Permitted Development

Some masts (mainly those under 15m in height) fall under a different planning regime called "permitted development". This is where the phone company claims that they are building a small mast in accordance with the terms of the licence given to them by the government. However local councils can still lodge objections on the grounds of siting and appearence.

The law relating to this is set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2001

Where are there Masts in and around Hartley?

This information has been taken from the Radiocommunications Authority Database, which can be accessed at http://www.radio.gov.uk

Location Height Operator
Hartley Post Office, Ash Road 4.5m Orange
Junction Woodlands Avenue/Larksfield (ref 22159) 6m Orange
Longfield Telephone Exchange (ref 7364) 13.5m O2
The Gallops, Longfield (ref 22158) 14m Orange
The Gallops, Longfield (ref 13822) 15.5m T-mobile
Nurstead Avenue, Longfield Hill No details No details
Milestone School, Ash Road (ref 7366) 16m O2
Hemsley's Yard, Ash Road (ref 29578) 15m Vodafone
Useful links

Campaign for Planning Sanity - a large amount of legal materials on telephone masts. This includes some very full briefing notes.

Environmental Law Foundation - may be able to offer legal advice to affected communities.

Mast Action is another campaigning group which offers to sell a briefing pack.