If you fancy organising a community event to celebrate with your friends and neighbours, there are a few things to consider very early on in your planning stages, especially if the event will be on private or council land.
You’ll need to get in touch with us if you plan to hold a street party to celebrate a major national event. Street parties should be:
- for residents and neighbours only
- publicity only to residents (no external publicity)
- organised and funded by residents
- held in single or linked couple of streets
- without any structures such as stages being installed.
Street parties should be fun and enjoyed by the community. We hope to do our bit by smoothing the path for community groups and neighbourhoods planning an outdoor get-together.
Anyone can apply to hold a small private street party or small community event.
Organising small, private street parties is very simple and generally does not include activities that need a licence, such as the sale of alcohol or food.
We have provided a street parties flowchart to help organise and understand the process.
Please also visit GOV.UK – your guide to organising a street party for more guidance on street parties
The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, think about what you want to achieve and get in touch with us at least six weeks in advance, but preferably a little more.
If your event needs a road closure, we’ll take the information from your application form and process it. You don’t need to submit a separate form for this.
There is no fee for the combined application for a street party and road closure. If we think any extra permissions are needed, such as a temporary event notice, the normal fee will apply.
If you are planning to charge an entrance fee or charge for alcohol, the event will be almost certain to be considered as a ‘commercial event’. You will need help and advice from our Licensing team, ideally early in the process as you may need to apply for a license.
Checking the roads
You will need to check that your street event doesn’t clash with another event or road works in your area. Two or more events held at the same time in a local area can cause traffic problems. If this is the case, it is likely that the road closure request would be rejected. Check for conflicting road closures or road works on the One.network website.
An application will only be approved for minor residential roads where the closure will have minimal impact on through traffic. Roads that are part of a bus route will generally not be considered suitable.
Apply for a road closure
If you are planning a street party or any other event on the public highway you will need to apply for a temporary road closure. Please allow up to 12 weeks for an application to be processed as organisations such as taxi and bus firms need to have a period of consultation. A simple road closure for a street party held only on a no-through road, can take up to 6 weeks. For either type of road closure please apply and provide all the supporting information in good time.
A temporary closure means that all vehicles are kept out, but the road is still open to pedestrians. You will need to apply for permission to close the road.
Please submit a simple plan to show the extent of the road to be closed at a suitable scale to include surrounding roads. This plan can illustrate the locations of your road closed signs. See our road closure map example for guidance on creating a plan.
You can find out more details about signs under ‘Organise signage’ below. The date and times of the road closure should also be shown on the plan and this plan should accompany your Road Closure Application Form.
When we receive the application for a road closure, we will get in touch with the emergency services on your behalf. However, you will still need to ensure that emergency service vehicles have access to the site with a minimum of 3.5m width available for them to get through.
Organise signage for your road closure
The event organiser is responsible for supplying, erecting and removing all signs required for the road closure. Please make sure you have effective signing to ensure an efficient and safe road closure is put in place. We ask that you erect a road closed barrier with a ‘Road Closed’ sign at each closure point. If possible, a ‘Road Ahead Closed’ sign should be put out to warn motorists they are approaching a road closure.
Details of your road signage should be supplied with the road closure application form along with details of who is installing the traffic management to close the road.
If you do not have anyone with Chapter 8 accreditation (a qualification that permits a person to work safely on the highway or erect signs and cones), we would recommend that you view the guidance video from Playing out. This guidance shows how residents can put out barriers and signs safely to close their road.
Not everyone will wish to be part of your celebrations so please make sure that neighbours and others are advised of what is happening, when and where.
Any events held on Somerset Council land will require our consent.
Hiring out venues
To hire our land, you or your club or group will need public liability insurance for up to £5 million, as well as working with us to complete the relevant risk assessments and agreeing to certain stipulations to ensure event safety.
For community event hire there is a booking fee per event of £21.00 or a block booking fee (two or more, but less than four events booked at once) of £51.00.
There will be no charge made when a public open space is hired for activities such as wedding photos, carol singing, children’s activities and more, provided the conditions of hire are met.
Our sport pitches can also be hired for formal club or charity matches and such bookings are given priority in parks, where there are pitches, during the football season.
To make a provisional event or pitch booking please contact Clean Surroundings on 0300 303 7803 or visit Booking events and permits for more information. For general information about our parks and gardens please visit Parks & open spaces.
You are advised to carry out a risk assessment for your event to ensure that you are prepared for any issues that may arise. This will ensure you have a contingency plan in place in case of accidents, medical emergencies or fires.
You will need to list any potential risks. For example:
- cars leaving the street without warning
- adverse weather such as sun stroke, lightning, heavy rain, high winds and more
- vehicle and people movements
- injury as a result of a collision
- access for emergency services
- COVID-19 measures and more.
You will need decide what you can do to reduce the risks.
See our Risk assessment example template for guidance on how to create a risk assessment.
You will also need to submit a COVID-19 Risk Assessment, this can be included as additional information with your main risk assessment.
See below for useful resources to help with your risk assessment:
Public liability insurance
You do not need public liability insurance if your street party is a small, private event only open to residents and not advertised to the public, but as an organiser we do recommend you consider it.
Public liability insurance covers against accidental injuries to third parties (other people) and damage to property. Public liability insurance costs can vary depending on the activities it covers. The costs could be split between residents, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the costs.