News item from: Friends of Hartley Countryside
Date: 7 December 2002
Title: Downs Valley Mast Proposal refused by District Council

Text of News Item:

Good news has just been received from Sevenoaks District Council, that Orange's proposal for a 90 foot telephone mast at Downs Valley has been refused after a massive number of objections were received.

In all 447 local letters of objection were received and also a 21 signature petition. Practically every road in Hartley contributed to this total - a real community effort. The campaign won the support of Dr Stoate, the local MP, and Roy Glover, one of our district councillors. It is to be hoped that the strength of local opposition will persuade the applicants to abandon their plans for a mast here.

For further details of the application, go to the Downs Valley Mast page.

The grounds for objection were:

1. The proposed installation, by reason of its siting and design would be seen as a visual intrusion in this rural location within the Green Belt and be detrimental to the character, appearence and openness of the locality. The Council is not satisfied that overriding very special circumstances have been demonstrated for the siting proposed and the proposal would be contrary to policies EN1, EN29 and GB4 of the Sevenoaks District Local Plan and policies ENV1, MGB3, and RS1 of the Kent Structure Plan.

2. The proposed installation, due to the visibility from nearby residential properties, would detract from the residential amenities of the area as supported by policy EN1 of the Sevenoaks District Local Plan"

3. The proposed development is within an area subject to tree preservation order TPO/74/03 and would require some clearing of vegetation to accommodate the proposed compound, this would be to the detriment of the interests of nature and habitat conservation, and contrary to policies EN1, EN11, and EN12A of the Sevenoaks District Local Plan and policies ENV1 and ENV2 of the Kent Structure Plan."