Use of Council Owned Land

Where event organisers wish to use land in the ownership of West Somerset Council, they must first apply to the Council to use that land.

Land available for use in District Council ownership includes (but is not limited to):

  • Wellington Square, Minehead (no commercial trading permitted)
  • Blenheim Gardens, Minehead
  • Minehead Seafront and parts of the Beach
  • Culvercliffe Open Space, Minehead
  • Exmoor Lawns, Dulverton

Applications to use the land must be submitted a minimum of 3 months prior to the event to ensure a sufficient consultation period.  Late applications may not be considered.

Applications must be accompanied by:

  • Fully completed application form (available under related documents on this page)
  • Event Safety Plan
  • Risk Assessment
  • Evidence of public liability insurance in the sum of £5 million (minimum)

The document 'Event Safety pack for Event Organisers' is also available under related documents.  The guide includes information on how to draw up an event management plan and risk assessments. A risk assessment template is also available to download.

If you are unsure whether the land you wish to use is in Council ownership, please contact us on 01643 703704 or email

Please email the completed application forms to use or trade from council-owned land to

N.B.  The Council gives no warranty that the above areas are legally or physically fit for the purposes of the event you may wish to hold.

Sky or Chinese lanterns

The use of Sky, or Chinese, lanterns is growing in popularity and they are often seen in the night sky at festivals, weddings and other celebrations.

West Somerset Council do not recommend their use on council owned land due to the fire hazards and risks they pose to property, crops, livestock and the environment.

However if you do intend to use lanterns in other areas please consider the safety advice provided below to help reduce risks or download the leaflet provided by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

Launch conditions and area
  • Ensure sufficient clearance to avoid obstacles such as trees, power lines or buildings.
  • Avoid launching near roads, especially major roads or motorways.
  • Avoid standing crops.
  • Do not launch within five miles of an airport.
  • Do not launch in wind speeds in excess of five mph.
  • Check wind direction before launch.
General advice
  • Lanterns should be used by responsible adults only.
  • Adults should not be under the influence of alcohol or any substance that could affect their level of responsibility.
  • Water should be on hand in case the lanterns catch fire.
  • The launch area should be kept clear of combustible materials.
  • Damaged lanterns should not be used.
Danger to Livestock

The National Farmers Union has received numerous reports of harm to livestock, and in some instances death, caused by cattle ingesting the metal wires contained within the lantern frames.

The danger and the repercussions of digestion are not realised until after the animal falls ill, usually ending in a slow and painful death unless destroyed by a vet. The small pieces of metal wire the lanterns are made of are not detectable by the metal detectors on the silage making machinery.

The lanterns are often seen as a gentler alternative to fireworks, but the potential risks they carry are high and although they are not banned - there is already a complete ban on the lanterns in Germany and Australia. West Somerset Council and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service do not recommend their use. 

If the lantern does start a fire there is the possibility that you could be held responsible.

Advice leaflet produced by Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.