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Street party on the highway

Street parties in their own right do not require a licence but there are certain activities that require authorisation under the Licensing Act 2003.

Street parties are generally defined as an event that:

  • is not publicised for the general public and therefore will not draw in people from a wider area
  • applies to the residents of one or two streets only and not to larger areas so attendance will generally involve fewer than 150 people

When you need a licence

You will need a temporary event notice for any street party where:

  • alcohol is to be sold (alcohol is still deemed to be sold if it is offered as part of an entrance fee or ticket price), or
  • entertainment offered to members of the public (private events do not usually require authorisation)

Having a street party on public highway

If you plan to hold a street party on the public highway you need to apply for a road restriction.

Conditions of application

You should read these conditions before applying:

  1. The definition of a 'restriction' in this instance will be any obstruction or amendment to regulations on a specific length of road, such as a road closure, formally restricted parking or revocation of parking places.
  2. This type of restriction is for community events attended by local residents and their families. The event must not be advertised to the wider community. It is suitable for minor residential roads where the closure will have minimal impact on through traffic. Generally, roads that are part of a bus route will not be considered suitable.
  3. Unfortunately there will be times when this type of restriction will not be appropriate, either because of the type of road or because of the type of event being planned. You are therefore encouraged to contact Dorset Highways to discuss your individual requirements at the earliest opportunity before you submit an application.
  4. The applicant is responsible for consulting with the following: (a) Locally affected residents and businesses. All frontages on the road to be closed or the section of the restriction, both residential and commercial, must be individually informed in writing, and any substantial objections should be resolved by the applicant; (b) local town or parish council; (c) all local emergency services (via your local police station). If any of these parties have concerns which cannot be resolved, then unfortunately the application will have to be refused.
  5. A copy of the notification to all consultees must be included with your application and you can download a consultation exercise document to return.
  6. The event must be organised in such a way that access for pedestrians and emergency/essential vehicles can be maintained.
  7. In the case of a road closure, a minimum of one "ROAD CLOSED" sign at each entry to the closure will need to be provided by the organisers. Unfortunately we do not have sufficient resources to provide these free of charge for you. They can be purchased or hired from the Dorset Highways Sign Shop or from the majority of large tool hire companies.
  8. If the restriction is approved, you will be sent a laminated notice which must be put up at each end of the closure at least seven days prior to the street party.
  9. The granting of a restriction does not provide any kind of licensing for your event.
  10. Although not compulsory, it is recommended that organisers of street parties consider having public liability insurance in place for this type of event.
  11. All equipment and rubbish associated with the restriction must be cleared at the end of the street party - this cannot wait until the following morning .
  12. Finally, we ask that you respect your neighbours and keep noise to a minimum after 9pm.

You must provide an emergency contact phone number that can be reached for the duration of the event. This number will be included on the Public Notice which you will be sent to display on the affected streets before the event. We will also send a copy of the Public Notice to Statutory Consultees such as local town or parish council, emergency services and bus companies.

Apply for a road restriction

You must give at least 6 weeks notice before your event takes place.

You can also enquire about events on the highway.

Advice on planning a street party

Read the Gov.uk guide to organising a street party. The street party website also has more advice on planning your street party.

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