Street parties

Street parties in the borough

Street parties are a great way to meet your neighbours and build community spirit, so it's important to make sure that it's well planned, so that everyone involved has a good time and stays safe.

There is no charge for holding a street party or fete within the borough, providing these events are for neighbours and residents only. There is a different process for organising larger public events.

Applying to host a street party

  • you will need to complete our online enquiry form to host a street party. We recommend you do this at least eight weeks prior to your event. 
  • your enquiry will be reviewed within 10 working days and we will send advice and guidance to you on what to do next
  • we will check with the relevant agencies within the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) regarding the proposed event, to establish if there are any concerns to be addressed, or recommend changes to allow it to take place
  • we will send you a confirmation letter and a copy of the temporary traffic notice (TTN) for the road closure within two weeks of your application
  • You can also download our street party event checklist to assist you during your event organising.

Frequently asked questions about street parties

Do I need insurance?

We recommend that you purchase public liability insurance cover for a small residential street party. For further advice visit the Street Party Site and The Big Lunch. The costs can always be split between residents, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the costs.

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames will not be held responsible for any damage to property, or injury to any person arising from or in connection with the street party, or other event.

Do I need to do a risk assessment?

In most cases you do not need a risk assessment plan for small street parties, but you may wish to think about how you can minimise risks and have a back-up plan. For example:

  • what to do if there was extreme weather (e.g. hot, cold or wet)
  • use of reusable plastic plates and cups rather than glass
  • making sure an adult is in charge of the barbeque
  • slip, trip and fall hazards

Do I need an alcohol licence?

No, licences are only required if alcohol is sold. At a private party, sharing drinks with your neighbours does not require a licence. If you did want to sell alcohol, you need a Temporary Event Notice.

Do I need an entertainment licence?

No, you will not need an entertainment licence if:

  • your street party is private for residents only
  • the music is not advertised in advance to attract people (live or recorded)
  • you are not making money

Do I need a permit to serve food?

No, you can always ask your neighbours to bake a cake, make a sandwich, or bring food to share with one another. The Food Standards Agency provides a guide for businesses on food hygiene, which organisers of street parties may find helpful.

Do I need to clean up afterwards?

Yes, you will need to clean up after your play street. Let people know in advance what time the play street will finish and have a section set aside for bin bags and recycling. Take your rubbish and recycling home. If you have too much recycling to store at home, you can take it to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre (HRRC) off Villiers Road. Please do not leave bin bags on the streets as this may attract foxes and vermin.

Guidelines for street parties

If your application to hold a street party or fete is approved, you will need to follow these guidelines:

  • inform all residents and businesses who may be directly, or indirectly affected by the event,for instance on likely traffic route diversions; including those who may be disturbed by increased noise levels
  • allow all residents and emergency services access to the road
  • the area of the party must be solely confined to the closed section of the road only
  • do not place anything on the highway that cannot be immediately removed in case of an emergency (including tents or marquees)
  • under no circumstances will bonfires, barbecues or mobile cookers be permitted within the confines of the street
  • bunting across the road must be at least five metres high
  • all fire hydrant covers must be kept clear and unobstructed
  • the foot, or pathway must be kept clear at all times for pedestrians and cyclists (on foot) passing through the area
  • any road closure, or direction signs on the highway must be visible, obvious, and must be adequately lit at dusk or after dark
  • signs complying with national standards must be used to close off the road. On receipt of your application we can advise
  • any overspill of parking onto nearby streets needs to be avoided where at all possible
  • all ‘bouncy castles’ and other children’s play equipment must be appropriately anchored and supervised at all times
  • noise needs to be kept to reasonable levels, especially later in the evening
  • the party and music must finish promptly at the time agreed
  • the street and any waste needs to be cleared and all signs and rubbish removed