Road Closures under the Town Police Clauses Act

What to consider when holding a party

There are some differences between street parties and outdoor public events.

Street parties

  • for residents/neighbours only
  • advertised to residents only
  • no licences normally necessary if music is incidental and no sale/supply of alcohol is involved
  • formal risk assessments or insurance are not needed unless a road closure if required
  • self-organised

Outdoor public events

  • anyone can attend
  • widely advertised
  • Licence usually needed for sale/supply of alcohol, public entertainment etc, unless exempted by the Deregulation Act.  For more information see the Temporary Event Notice pages
  • Risk assessment and insurance needed
  • Professionally organised

Small private community parties and fêtes where no alcohol is sold do not normally require a licence. These parties and fêtes are where groups of residents, or a community organisation, organises an event for the benefit of their neighbours or a local school.

Risk assessment

There may be risks that are only applicable to your party area so you should produce a risk assessment to ensure it reflects your own location and event. This will need to be submitted as part of the road closure application process.

Do I need a licence?

Some activities are classed as ‘licensable activities’ under the Licensing Act 2003 and you may need a temporary licence to cover them. This kind of licence is known as a ‘Temporary Event Notice’(cost £21).

If you wish to carry out any of the following licensable activities at your event you will need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN)

  • Sell alcohol by retail
  • The sale of alcohol
  • Supply hot food or hot drink after 11pm or before 5am on any day.  This includes takeaways, cafés, mobile hot food vans and any other venue providing hot food or hot drink
  • Provide regulated entertainment such as performance of a play, exhibition of a film, indoor sporting events, boxing and wrestling, live or recorded music and performance of dance

Large scale events which are likely to attract over 500 people will require Premises Licence instead of a TEN. 

  • Any individual of 18 years or over can apply for a TEN
  • There are two types of TEN: a standard TEN and a late TEN. These are subject to different processes: a standard notice is given no later than ten working days before the event to which it relates and a late notice is given not before nine and not later than five working days before the event


As a community event you do not need a licence under the Licensing Act 2003 to sell food (unless you want to only sell hot food and drink after 11pm). Remember you can always ask your neighbours to bake a cake, make a sandwich or bring food to share with one another. This is also a good way to bring different groups of people together

Raffles and tombola

If the tombola/raffle tickets are sold on the day and the prizes are not worth more than £500 in total then it will not require a gambling exempt from gambling regulations (however, if tickets are sold in advance of the event, you will need a lottery registration, but do contact the Council first to check.

For street parties and the most appropriate form of lottery is likely to be what is known as an Incidental Lottery – no licence is required and you do not have to tell the Council, anyone can play and the sales take place on the day of the event, the draw can be made at the event or after the event. The total maximum cost for the prizes is £500 and you can take a maximum of £100 from the proceeds to cover expenses.

Any proceeds from the tombola/raffle must go to a good cause such as charity or covering the cost of your party. Alternatively, if you did want to raise some money for your local church or charity, you can always ask people for donations.

More detailed information can be found on the Gambling Commission website