Advice on street parties

This information covers both street parties and community events. It covers events that:

  • are organised by residents and neighbours for residents and neighbours
  • are publicised just for residents, not for the general public
  • don't need a licence.

Play Streets 

Sometimes known as ‘playing out sessions’ or ‘play streets’ — Play Streets is a simple, effective and low-cost way for children to be able to play out in the streets where they live. Local authorities can use their existing powers under road traffic legislation to allow temporary street closures at regular weekly or monthly intervals, typically for three hours at a time. Local parents and other residents act as marshals, allowing their neighbours to drive to and from their homes at walking pace, while through traffic is re-directed. 

If you’d like a Play Street in your local area in Greenwich:

  1. First, contact play-streets@royalgreenwich.gov.uk to find out if your street is eligible (i.e. residential with no bus route).
  2. Once it is confirmed your street is eligible, talk to your neighbours about having a Play Street.
  3. Build up support for a Play Street. We recommend you have the support of five residents on your street. Download a letter template to give to your neighbours.
  4. Have your five neighbours sign in support of Play Streets.
  5. Submit the application form and your five supporting signatures.

Register a street party

You need to register your street party with the Royal Borough of Greenwich at least four weeks before the event.

There is no charge to register a street party celebrating a national event, such as the Great Get Together or the Big Lunch, but for other events charges may apply if a road closure is required.

Register a street party

Planning your street party

Before you start organising the party, there are a number of things you need to think about.

Read a guide to organising street parties (Gov.UK)

Who you need to tell

As well as letting us know by filling in the registration form, you will need to invite all residents and also let any businesses on your street know of your plans.

The majority of residents will need to agree to the party, and you need to give us details of any objections.

Where to hold your street party

Usually a street party is in your street but it could be held on a grass area or even in a community hall.

When you are choosing where to hold your event, please consider places that will not affect access for buses and emergency vehicles.

Closing the street to traffic

Charges may apply if a road closure is necessary. Closing off a road does not give you the right to stop pedestrians passing through.

It is normally fine to make your own road closure signs, as long as they are clear and visible to everyone.

Timing a street party

You must finish your street party by 9pm. You can start the party whenever you want during the day.

You should let all residents know what time you intend to start and finish the party and take their comments into consideration.

Do you need a licence?

Most small street parties do not need a licence.

You will need licensing permission if you:

  • want to sell alcohol
  • want to sell hot food and drink after 11pm
  • intend to provide entertainment to the wider public
  • intend to charge for your event.

In these instances we will help you get a temporary event notice, which costs £21.

Serving food

You do not usually need a licence to sell food at a private party, but you must ensure that any food provided is safe to eat.

Insurance

We advise organisers to get insurance.

Find out more information about insurance for street parties (Street Party site)

Tombola and raffles

If tombola or raffle tickets are sold on the day and prizes are not worth more than £500 in total, then it will be exempt from gambling regulations.

Proceeds from the tombola or raffle must go to a good cause such as a charity or towards covering the cost of the party.

Find out more about fundraising with raffles (Gambling Commission website)

Risk assessments

We don't insist on a risk plan for small street parties, but it is a good idea to have a back up plan if things do not go as you expected. For example, what will you do if it rains?

Decorations

You can decorate your street for a party, but ensure that any bunting is strung high enough to not obstruct any emergency vehicles that may need access.

Cleaning up

You will need to clean up after your own street party. Have a section set aside for bin bags and recycling.