The website for Hartley, from the Friends of Hartley Countryside
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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 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:
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.
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