Film Hampshire

Code of Practice & Filming Guidelines

Code of Practice & Filming Guidelines supported by:

Film Hampshire and Hampshire County Council in conjunction with the district councils for:

Basingstoke, East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Hart, Havant, Isle of Wight, New Forest, Portsmouth, Rushmoor, Southampton, Test Valley, Winchester and Tourism South East

We look forward to working with you and welcoming you to our county

The Code of Practice is a voluntary agreement and is designed to work alongside the filming guidelines. Its aim is to outline the general requirements and the protocols expected to ensure that standards and consideration by all parties to all effected is a priority.

Hampshire County Council and Film Hampshire have established contact with all of the district authorities in Hampshire. Many of these authorities have a dedicated Film Liaison Officer (FLO) located in their tourism or Economic Development Department.  Please see appendix one for the Film Liaison Officers (FLOs) contacts list for Hampshire

Hampshire County Council and the district FLOs welcome film makers to Hampshire and regard Hampshire as filming friendly. Hampshire County Council’s Economic Development Office through it’s project Film Hampshire is happy to answer enquiries about filming in the county and assist with all reasonable requests associated with filming in Hampshire.  The Economic Development Office can also act as a contact between the production company, the district authority FLOs and the locations in Hampshire.

Hampshire has many unique locations from vast rural areas such as farmland and the New Forest National Park to seaside locations and industrial derelict sites.  We also have a vast range of beautiful historic buildings as well as cottages and villages.  We will be happy to accommodate your needs where possible and we will always try and help with your filming requirements.

It is recognised that most production companies act in a responsible and professional manner. However, all film makers are asked to take their surroundings into consideration.

Productions must be sympathetic to the environment they want to use and work with any restrictions they find with locations that are in areas of outstanding natural beauty and are preserved or with historic buildings or monuments that are considered delicate and fragile.

The local authority has a duty of care towards residents and businesses and will exercise control if a particular production is causing an unreasonable nuisance or noise.

Every precaution must be taken to ensure the safety of the general public at all times and a contact number for the production must be available to the council and the police.

Clear guidelines of what the script or scene involves and appropriate caution must be taken for filming in sensitive areas or at unsocial times

Areas that require any sort of set building, dressing, disguising or are subject to any sort of special effects will require a grantee to be returned to a required standard.

This code of practice sets out the standards that we would ask production companies and/or their sub-contractors to follow while filming in Hampshire.  


The aim of these guidelines is to act as a check list for all parties wishing to film on location and to ensure that all areas of consideration and safety are a priority. If there are aspects that are not covered or if there is doubt of any sort, this should be discussed with Hampshire County Council’s Economic Development Office or the relevant District Authority Film Liaison Officer prior to any filming.


  • The use of any animals by a production must be discussed in detail prior to filming and must follow the Health and Safety Executive guidance sheets

  • The use and movement of certain species of animal may require the issue of a licence under the provisions of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. The appropriate Local Authority should be contacted for further advice and information regarding the intention to use or move any relevant species covered by the Act or associated regulation


  • All cables must be made safe as they are laid and not at some later time.

  • Cables must be laid in the gutter along the highway or in the junction between a wall and the footway.

  • Cables on steps must be taped down to avoid the risk of tripping.

  • Wherever possible cables should be flown at a minimum 17’ (5.2m) above a public carriageway and 8’6” (2.6m) above footways. The council / film office will, wherever possible, seek to make generator parking available which avoids the need to cable across the highway.

  • If there is a need to lay cabling across a footway there may be times when it will be sufficient to lay cables at right angles under a taped rubber mat. Rubber matting should be regarded as essential safety equipment and carried as a matter of course. This matting should be;

  • (a)a minimum of one metre wide, and;

  • (b)visible to the public by proper lighting, cones or high-visibility hazard tape.

  • On quieter roads it may be permissible to lay cables using proper cable ramps. If so then appropriate signage must be used and clearance given by the Council.

Catering and removal of litter

  • All refuse and street cleaning will be the responsibility of the production and arrangements for its removal must be made by the production. If this is left to the council the production will be charged.

  • Hampshire County Council encourages film makers to use local food suppliers whilst they are filming in the county.  We would be happy to help you source these suppliers and more information can be found at


The following services may incur charges at cost;

  • (a)provision of vehicles to wet down the street

  • (b)refuse collection

  • (c)removal of street furniture

  • (d)removal of unit signs that have not been removed by the production company

  • (e)suspension of parking meters and any other parking provisions

  • (f)any additional refuse collection or street cleaning required

Any damage caused by a production company to the carriageway, footway or street furniture will be charged for.


  • The employment of child actors is governed by licensing regulations made in 1933, 1963, 1968 and amended in 1988.

  • Producers must make adequate provision for the education and health needs of all children employed when filming.

  • A child is a young person of less than 15 years old or still subject to full time education.

  • Any filming involving the employment of children (whether paid or unpaid) must be cleared through the local authority’s Education Welfare service.

Celebrities and Look-alikes

  • Police should be informed of any celebrity presence or any celebrity look-alikes which are to be used.


  • Cones have no legal force to secure parking and their use must be agreed with the local council


  • Successful filming relies upon the local residents and business receiving  adequate notice where appropriate.

  • Letters should be sent to local residents and businesses outlining fully the intended filming and include;

  • (a)Date, time and exact location of filming

  • (b)Date of letter

  • (c)Location Manager and the local authority contact numbers

  • (d)Number of crew or production personnel expected on location

  • (e)Clear details of any stunts or dressing planned

  • (f)Clear details of lighting plans

  • (g)Clear details of parking proposal

  • (h)Emergency arrangements and contact details

Cranes, camera cranes and aerial platforms

  • When planning to use cherry-pickers or cranes on the public highway, the relevant authority must be informed and clearance given.

  • The location manager or crane hire company must also discuss the specific weight and the exact positioning of such equipment with relevant authority and the conditions of any permission granted should be adhered to at all times.

  • At night or in conditions of poor visibility, warning lights should be placed around the cherry-picker or crane.

  • Rigging or de-rigging must be carried out at times that will not cause an unreasonable noise or nuisance.

  • Particular attention should be given to assessing the proximity of any existing overhead cables before erecting platforms or cranes


  • The use of firearms of any kind must be discussed in advance with the local authority the police and or the appropriate emergency service.

  • An Armourer must be present during scenes involving firearms

Health & safety and risk assessment

  • Full consideration of Health & Safety issues for all employees must be taken  and proven by the producer.

  • LOLER (lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations) and PUWER (provision and use of work equipment regulations) should be considered. These cover lighting / sound gantries, staging and the like which are likely to feature on film sets.

  • The producer must provide proof that a risk assessment has been done by a competent person appointed as the Health & Safety  representative (with a minimum of NVQ Level 3)

  • A full risk assessment of the location must be carried out in accordance with the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Management of Health & Safety at Work regulation (1992)

  • Activities must be carried out in accordance with the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Management of Health & Safety at Work regulations(1992).

  • Types of Risk Assessment that may be required for filming activities include Stunts, the use of flammable or toxic materials, construction work, working at Heights and the use of cranes and cherry pickers. This is in addition to a Comprehensive risk assessment of the location

  • The council must give an indication of the time required for risk assessments to be carried out and approved

  • Failure to follow appropriate Health and Safety procedures may invalidate any insurance

High-visibility clothing

  • Crew members and production personnel working on the highway must wear high-visibility clothing to standard EN471. This is an essential safety requirement under the New Roads and Street works Act and it is an offence not to comply.

  • Failure to wear appropriate high-visibility clothing invalidates any insurance provision for the entire shoot.

Highways and traffic management

  • Where traffic management is required police officers, traffic wardens or parking attendants (as appropriate) must be used unless advised to the contrary by the Film Office.

  • If you require a road closure this must be done in accordance with Hampshire Police through the relevant district council.  Road closures will also require a lead in time of up to 3 months to consult with the highway authority.

  • No signs should be erected or placed on the highway (which includes all footways and verges) except those from Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual, which should be approved by the Local Highways Office.

  • No markings to be painted on the highway.

  • No attempt should be made by anyone other than the police to direct or control the normal traffic using the public highway. Some areas of exclusion apply, please contact the police and highways for more information.  

  • No obstruction should prevent pedestrians going about their business in safety.

Historic buildings and conservation areas

Special attention and care must be taken when a production is planning to use any historic buildings, heritage sites or conservation areas.

  • The use of  lights and any tracking in Historic properties must be assessed by the custodian and where relevant chemical or a heat analysis must be provided

  • The use of effects such as smoke effects, naked flames or candles may be prohibited or will require special permission

  • Filming in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty ( AONB ) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest SSSI will have restricted use and will require assessment

  • Details of the productions requirements must be discussed and put in writing with the film representative.

  • Some historic properties are required by law to remain open to the public at all times and filming must work with this.

  • Some of these properties are delicate and the possessions unique, extra insurance or a specific license may be required.

  • Particular care will be taken when dressing or lighting Historic buildings

Indemnity and insurance

  • The production company will be expected to indemnify the local authority, its officers and employees against any claims or proceedings arising directly from any injury to persons or damage to property as a result of the activities of the production company or its agents.

  • Any filming undertaken is the responsibility of the producer. Public liability insurance for £5 million must be evidenced in writing prior to filming. Risk assessment may require an increase in this limit and exclusions to certain activities may apply.

Lighting, lighting towers, scaffolding and generators

  • A special licence may be required for any of the above please check with the local authority

  • The construction and positioning of lighting towers and scaffolding must be    discussed with the relevant authority well in advance of the shoot.

  • Any scaffolding constructed must be certified by the local authority.

  • When placing lighting stands on the carriageway or the footway the Local authority must be informed and clearance given.

  • The following considerations should be taken to prevent any risk to the public or production company employees;

  • (a) All lights above ground level and lighting stands are properly secured

  • (b) Lighting stands placed on a footway must be attended at all times

  • (c) Lights do not dazzle motorist

  • (d) Lights are not shone directly towards residential properties at any time  without specific permission

  • Any generator used should comply with the specific requirements of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) and be positioned as far away as possible from all residential properties.

Military and MOD site filming

Some restrictions apply on filming in those parts of Hampshire with military connections - both navy and army for example, in Aldershot.  In these cases film-makers should liaise with both the civilian police and the military police. Please contact the MOD film office for more information on filming at military sites including training establishments and other MOD sites.  


  • Filming at Hampshire museums can only take place with the consent of the Curator or Manager. Who will have the final say over:-

    • what can be done

    • when it can be done

    • under what circumstances and/or conditions it can be done

  • When discussing the ‘costs’ for “hire” purposes, the Curator or Manager may need to be in  Attendance.  Any/all  fees charged by the Curator or Manager for his attendance will be reflected within that cost.

  • HCC Museums and Archives Service MUST and will have, and retain control over and use of access to all its resources, premises, staff, collections etc while any filming take place.

  • Any project negotiated and/or managed by themselves will  have Hampshire County Council on the film credits.

Night filming

Night shoots in residential areas are naturally sensitive and it is essential to consider and consult with local residents and businesses in the planning process. (Refer to Noise and Nuisance Section below)

  • Any activity, including filming, is subject to the Environmental Protection Act (1990) regarding noise and nuisance.

  • A legitimate complaint about noise or nuisance from a resident to the local authority can result in the termination of the shoot and the confiscation of equipment. Therefore, it is advisable to shoot all scenes requiring noise above conversational level before 22.00hrs. Walkie-talkies should be turned down to a minimum and earpieces used.

  • There may be cases when equipment or heavy vehicles that cannot be removed silently at the end of filming must be left ‘in situ’ and attended by overnight security. This must be cleared by the relevant authority prior to filming

Noise and nuisance

Local authorities have the right to take action under the Environment Protection Act (1990) as a result of any unreasonable noise


  • Police need to be informed of any nudity during filming.


  • Location Managers should discuss all parking requests with the Film Office or local council representative preferably with two weeks notice in advance of filming.

  • In particular for on street parking requirements, other on street equipment requirements and bays to be kept empty for continuity.

  • The council must ensure that no road works or street maintenance has been booked during that time

  • Film vehicles will not be allowed to park in such away that access is restricted or denied unless prior agreement has been secured


Planning permission may be required for some temporary structures such as

  • The building of a set which will be up for more than 21 days from construction to strike

  • The prolonged use of a building as a set / temporary studio

Prop or mock emergency service

The relevant authority and emergency service in question must be informed if there are any:

  • Crime re-enactments

  • If actors are to be dressed in a specific uniform (Police, ambulance or fire brigade).

  • Uniforms and any vehicles resembling the emergency services must be covered whenever possible and in particular between takes. Any markings on vehicles must be taped over when not being used for filming or being driven on a carriageway.

  • Sirens should not be used at any time on location and flashing lights must be switched off when not in shot and covered when not in use.

  • Legally there must be a police presence for mock emergency services filming, please contact the Hampshire police for more information.


  • Any props used during the shoot will be removed and the area made good

  • Film Hampshire can help supply you with props provided by the Hampshire Museum Service please contact us for further details.

Public liability insurance

  • Any filming undertaken is the responsibility of the producer. Public liability insurance for £5 million must be evidenced in writing prior to filming. Risk assessment may require an increase in this limit and exclusions to certain activities may apply.

Risk assessment

  • A risk assessment may be required to satisfy the insurance provisions and statutory obligations to employees and anyone who will be affected by their actions, please check with the relevant local authority if this is required.

  • Additional assessments may be required depending on the type of filming

Road markings and signs

  • The temporary painting-out or disguising of road markings, yellow lines or other road signs requires the specific approval of the relevant authority and notification of the Police.

  • Reinstatement must be carried out after filming

Signage & Graffiti

  • All signs directing crew to specific locations must be approved by the local authority and must be taken down after filming

  • Any Graffiti must be planned at least 21 days in advance.

Sound playback

  • The filming of artists to sound play-back can only be undertaken with the prior agreement from the relevant authority, at any time.

Street furniture and street lighting

The removal of street furniture, including signs, and the adjustment of street lighting is normally carried out by the local authority and charged to the production company.

  • All arrangements for this work must be made through the relevant authority.

  • Minor work by the production company may be permissible with prior permission and any damage or reinstatement costs would have to be met by the production company.

Stunts, special effects and pyrotechnics

All stunts, special effects (including weather effects and wet downs) and pyrotechnics must be under the direct control of a named qualified stunt co-ordinator or special effects operative and comply with the Environmental Protection Act (1990).

  • Any plans must be discussed with the relevant authority and a risk assessment will be carried out by the production prior to filming.

  • No firearms or replica/mock firearms should be used without prior consultation and consent where appropriate of the Police and the relevant authority.


Sustainability whilst filming is encouraged by Hampshire County Council.  The Sustainable Business Partnership which also operates from the Economic Development Office can help film-makers to achieve this, please visit


  • All matters relating to tracking must be discussed with the relevant authority prior to filming

  • The production company should ensure that pedestrians and in particular wheelchair users are not impeded by filming.

  • The area should be fenced off and permission from the local authority should be obtained to do this.  

Traffic management

  • Any filming on the highway that requires traffic management will need to be discussed with the council highways department

  • The local Police authority  must be informed of any filming activity

  • If a police presence is required there may be a charge to the production


  • Wet downs may only be carried out with the approval of the relevant authority after a proper evaluation of the forthcoming weather conditions and with the proper signage as required.


  • ·The descriptions highway, carriageway and footway used in this document are in conjunction with The Highways Act (1986)

  • ·The description Production refers to every type of filming. In particular, feature films, television productions, commercials, pop-promos, corporate and stills.

This document is intended as a guide to the requirements of filming on the streets and other public places in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It is not exhaustive and film makers, location managers and production companies are advised to check with individual local authorities as to local charges, policies and practices. Hampshire County Council and the district councils in Hampshire will accept no liability for loss, financial or otherwise, alleged to have incurred as a result of these guidelines.

Hampshire filming guidelines and code of practice version one, 10 September 2007

Adapted from Film London’s Film-makers Code of Practice April 2000
and Screen South’s Filming Guidelines 2006