Guidance

A guide to hiring our public open spaces

This guidance page concerns the use of public open spaces administered by Horsham District Council in connection with organised events. The provisions do not relate to the hire of football and other sports pitches.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Please check our Coronavirus: Guidance for planning an event in Horsham District page for the latest guidance for events.

Acceptable applications

Applications for the use of Horsham Park for large events such as those which take place on an annual basis, and which will occupy a substantial area of the Park, can only be accepted in respect of the following year. An application stating the first and second preference of date must be submitted to the Council by the end of the year preceding the event. Applications for events of a minor nature for use of Horsham Park or other open spaces should be submitted at least three months prior to the date of the Event.

The Council will not hire premises for purposes that conflict with its policies on Equality and Diversity, Safeguarding, Counter Terrorism and Security and / or that are in breach of the Equality Act 2010, Children Act 2004, Human Rights Act 1998, Care Act 2014 and the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This legislation will also be taken into account when considering whether to accept a booking. The Council also reserves the right to not hire premises to people or organisations whose views and / or conduct are not in accordance with the Public Sector Equality duty to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • Prevent people being drawn into terrorism
  • Advance equality of opportunity between different groups
  • Foster good relations between different groups

The Council will not hire premises for purposes that are likely to cause offence to public taste and decency, except where the possible offence is balanced or outweighed by other factors (e.g. freedom of expression or artistic merit). This will ultimately be determined by the Head of Service who will make a determination as to whether to hire the premises on a case by case basis.

The Council will report individuals and / or organisations to the Police if it is believed that they may have committed a public order or incitement to hatred offence (or any other criminal offence) on Council premises.

When hiring the premises, the Council expects the hirer to observe exemplary standards of behaviour and conduct with regard to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. The hirer is responsible for being fully aware of issues concerning the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. Any possible risks involved in proposed activities must be considered by the hirer and appropriate action must be taken to protect everyone involved. The Council reserves the right to cancel any bookings where the safeguarding conditions within its safeguarding policy are not adhered to.

The Council may in its absolute discretion refuse to permit any event to take place without being obliged to state reasons therefore.

Charges

The Council has fixed charges for the use of its various open spaces according to the nature of the Event and details of such charges will be notified on enquiry or when applications are received.

Sites at Horsham Park

The area available for hire in Horsham Park will be allocated according to the nature of the Event.

Car parking at Horsham Park

Provision for parking of visitors' cars in Horsham Park is at the discretion of the Parks & Countryside Manager. If approved, the Organiser shall enclose with chestnut pale fencing or other suitable means approved by the Parks & Countryside department in the area designated and shall maintain such fencing or other means of enclosure properly erected during the course of the Event. Any parking must be adequately marshalled at all times. In order to avoid damage to the Council's land and/or property by reason of adverse weather conditions which have occurred prior to the Event taking place, the Council may withdraw such parking provision in Horsham Park, if this action is deemed necessary in the opinion of the Council as notified by the Parks & Countryside Manager.

Conditions of hire

Payment

The Organiser shall pay to the Council within fourteen days of the Event the hire charges for the use of the open space as notified by the Council together with such other charges as may be due in respect of facilities provided by the Council. In so far as any such sums are not paid to the Council the Council shall be at liberty to retain the sum from any deposit paid by the Organiser pursuant to these conditions but without prejudice to any other remedies which the Council may have in respect of the recovery thereof.

The Hirer shall not use the site or any part thereof for the performance of any musical or dramatic works or for the delivery in public of any lecture in which copyright subsists without the Consent of the Owner of the said copyright, or in any other manner infringe any subsisting copyright. The Hirer shall indemnify the Council against all sums of money, which the Council may have to pay by reason of any infringement of copyright occurring during the period of hire covered by this agreement.

The Hirer will pay all authors', composers', publishers' and other fees or royalties which may be payable in respect of the Event.

Unless the Hirer of the Park or other open space can produce evidence to the effect that arrangements already exist between themselves and the Performing Right Society Limited, the fee payable to that Society in respect of the reproduction by mechanical means of music for the benefit of the public will be collected by the Council by means of a levy on the Hirer of the Park.

Insurance and deposit

The Organiser shall:

  • Produce evidence of insurance at least thirty days before the Event with an Insurance Company satisfactory to the Council indemnifying the Organiser and the Council against all Third Party Claims arising from the Event in a sum of not less than £5,000,000.
  • Deposit with the Council at least seven days before the Event, if so required by the Council's Parks & Countryside Manager, a sum not exceeding £500 in respect of possible damage to the Council's land or property, such sum to be returnable to the Organiser after the Event subject to a deduction therefrom of any expenses incurred by the Council in respect of making good any damage to the Council's land or property caused by the Event and subject as provided in condition 1 above.

Right of cancellation

The Council may at any time require the cancellation, postponement or modification of the Event should such action be necessary in the opinion of the Council as notified by its Parks & Countryside Manager in order to avoid damage to the Council's land and/or property by reason of adverse weather conditions which have occurred prior to the Event taking place. Should the Event be so cancelled, postponed or modified the Council will not be liable to pay compensation in respect thereof.

Should the Organiser fail to comply with any of the terms specified in these conditions or with any other terms of which express notice has been given him in writing then the Council acting by its Parks & Countryside Manager shall be at liberty forthwith to cancel such Event without being liable to the payment of compensation in respect of such cancellation.

The Site

The Organiser shall ensure that no use is made in connection with the Event of any areas of the open space which are reserved for general use by the public and should the Event be taking place in Horsham Park, that no use is made of areas which have not been allocated for the purposes of the Event.

Site organisation

Not less than sixty days before the Event the Organiser shall arrange a site meeting with a representative of the Council's Parks & Countryside department for necessary correlation of the requirements of the Council and the Organiser.

Not less than thirty days before the Event the Organiser shall submit for the approval of the Council's Parks & Countryside department a site plan indicating in such detail as may have been required by the Parks & Countryside department the proposed allocation of every display, exhibit or other thing proposed in connection with and forming part of the Event and should the Parks & Countryside department not be satisfied with the information contained in such a site plan the Organiser shall make such modifications thereto as he may require.

At the meeting referred to in (a) above, a representative of the Council's Parks & Countryside department shall indicate what Council staff are proposed to be engaged in connection with the Event and the Organiser shall undertake to bear the cost of the employment of such staff.

Public conveniences

Where the Parks & Countryside department in consultation with the Organiser considers that the size of an event requires the provision of additional temporary conveniences, these shall be provided by the Organiser who shall ensure that they are maintained in a clean condition to the reasonable satisfaction of the Council at all times throughout the duration of the Event. The Organiser shall assume responsibility for the cleaning of both permanent and temporary conveniences and shall undertake to bear the cost of such cleaning.

Fencing

At the request of the Parks & Countryside department the Organiser shall enclose with chestnut pale fencing or by other suitable means approved by him the area in which the Event is to be held and shall maintain such fencing or other means of enclosure properly erected during the course of the Event.

Official vehicles

No official vehicles will be permitted on to the Council's land in connection with the Event unless included in a list supplied by the Organiser to the Parks & Countryside department at least ten days before the Event and approved by them, and the Council may at any time indicate that some or all of the vehicles included on such a list may not be admitted on to the site should it appear that ground conditions are unsuitable.

All official vehicles permitted to be on the site pursuant to condition (a) above hereof shall display an appropriate label provided by the Organiser and approved by the Parks & Countryside department.

Throughout the Event all official vehicles on the site must remain stationary within the area designated for the parking of such vehicles.

Exhibited vehicles and machinery

At least ten days before the Event the Organiser shall supply to the Parks & Countryside department details of the types of vehicles and machinery proposed to be displayed as part of the Event and such vehicles and machinery shall only be stationed on areas agreed for their display by the Parks & Countryside department. Unless special arrangements are agreed with the Parks & Countryside department no exhibited vehicles and/or machinery shall be driven or moved from the areas allocated during the course of the Event.

Reinstatement of site

The Organiser shall be responsible for reinstating the site forthwith on the termination of the Event and shall remove all refuse therefrom and leave the site in a clean and tidy condition to the satisfaction of the Parks & Countryside
department. In particular, any holes created by the erection of fencing, or by any other cause, shall be filled in and all dangerous or other objects shall be removed.

Bylaws

These conditions of hire are without prejudice to any requirement contained in the Council's bylaws with respect to public open spaces in the District.

The Offering of Prizes

Any Hirer of the Park, or other open space, undertakes to ensure that no living creature is put on display for offer as a prize at any event held on public open space land. Without prejudice to the generality of the above display, the offering of goldfish as prizes is prohibited.

Flyposting

Flyposting would be in contravention of the various Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations. Detailed advice on permissible advertising can be obtained from the District Council's offices to whom application should be made at least 14 days before any advertisement is intended to be displayed.

The Hirer undertakes not to exhibit or display posters or advertisements relating to his/her proposed use of the premises in any part of the District of Horsham in such a way as to contravene Regulations relating to flyposting and the control of advertisements.

Releasing of balloons

The releasing of balloons and other littering is not permitted

Security

If the hire period includes staying overnight on public open space the organiser will provide security but no guard dogs are permitted.