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Frequently asked questions

Before you contact Sutton Film Office, you might find it helpful to check our FAQs below, or check our list of common complaints under ‘Filming for the Community’. Why do you sometimes need to suspend parking bays for filming?Suspending parking is sometimes unavoidable to make sure there is space for essential technical vehicles, or to keep roads clear for certain shots like period shots. Technical vehicles often need to be parked right next to the location for health and safety reasons, for example reducing the amount of electrical cables around the set. What if a parking bay is suspended while I’m parked there and nobody tells me, or I’m on holiday?Your vehicle will not be impounded and you will not have to pay a penalty. The matter will be dealt with by Sutton Council, who will relocate your vehicle to the nearest available space and will notify the police where it is. The council follow the same procedure if parking is suspended for any other reason, such as utility works. What’s in it for me if there’s filming in my neighbourhood?We encourage filmmakers to speak with the local community to reach agreement before filming. Often this agreement involves donations to local community spaces like parks or schools, or to local charities or local associations of residents or traders. Sometimes it can also involve opportunities for locals to be involved in the filming. Filming in Sutton and London is also a source of revenue for the council and the government. I have received a letter about filming through my door, what is it?Probably it is a letter to notify you about planned filming in your neighbourhood. The letter should include the contact details of the filmmaker who can answer any questions you have about the filming. My neighbour has filming booked in, what can you do to stop it happening?We cannot stop it happening because it is on private property. However, we are usually able to use our influence to encourage filmmakers to act responsibly even when on private property, so do contact us (using out 24 hour emergency number if necessary) if you are concerned about this and we will do what we can. Of course, the usual rules about unreasonable noise or nuisance still apply (for example if a neighbour is having a loud party), so if you think they are breaking these rules then you can contact Sutton Council. What do I get out of letting people film on my property?You can charge the filmmakers a fee, which can be whatever you agree. If you ask us or a location agency to manage filming in the property for you, you will need to agree the fees with us or them in advance. To give you an idea, have a look at our fees and charges for filming on council or public property. How much would it cost me to add a location to Sutton Film Office’s location library?This is a free service for properties in Sutton. However, if you want Sutton Film Office to manage filming in your property, we will take an agreed share of the fee to cover our costs. Where can I apply for, or get information about, a Sutton filming licence?Please go to Is there a risk of my neighbourhood becoming overrun by filmmakers?Our main priority is to protect the interests of the community during filming, which means making sure this doesn’t happen. We monitor the amount of filming throughout the borough, as well as feedback from the community, to see if any neighbourhoods are being over-used. We often use our local knowledge to suggest alternative locations to make sure that filming is as evenly distributed as possible. What if I don’t want to be filmed, or my property to be filmed?Sutton Film Office expects responsible behaviour from filmmakers when they are filming people or private property, so please contact us if you are concerned about this. We enforce high standards in our client boroughs but you have no right under English law to prevent yourself or your property being filmed if the camera is on public property, although your legal rights to privacy and data protection might be violated by filming in certain circumstances. Please see our complaints section to find out more about this. What about if, for example, I want to make a personal video using my phone – are you saying I need a licence?No, this sort of filming would probably not need a licence. As a general rule, if your video involves less than five people, is not for commercial purposes and does not cause an obstruction or nuisance on public or council property, you do not need a licence. What is the best way for me to make my voice heard about filming in my neighbourhood?Sutton Film Office and filmmakers regularly consult with local resident associations and trader associations. These include but are not limited to formal Tenant and Resident Associations. The best way to be involved in these discussions is to join or create a local association like this and contact us if necessary so that we know about it. Why do you need to close roads for filming?Closing roads is sometimes unavoidable for health and safety reasons – for example if there are dangerous stunts – or if it is necessary for certain scenes for example in period films. There is unrestricted parking on my road which film makers use to park constantly. How can I stop this from happening?While there is no legal means to prevent parking on unrestricted roads, we will always try to find alternative parking that works for everyone. My child has been cast in a film or photo shoot, do they need a special licence?Yes, the production company must get a child performance licence for each child which they cast. These are issued by Sutton Council.

Contact us



0207 620 0391

24hr emergency phone

07919 002 115

Please only use this emergency contact number if you have concerns about filming taking place at the moment.

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Apply for a film licence

If you need to apply for a film license in Sutton, please go to FilmApp.

Useful documents

Download background information on filming in Sutton. Location Filming in London Code of Practice Learn about how filmmakers are expected to behave when filming in London Film Partnership boroughs (which include Sutton), and what are their legal obligations.  Film London guidelines on filming people Learn about your rights to privacy and data protection when being filmed, and how filmmakers are expected to behave on this. Film London guidelines on filming buildings Learn about your rights around the filming of your private property, and how filmmakers are expected to behave on this. BFI 2014 Statistical Yearbook Have a look at some of the latest facts and figures about the film industry in London and the UK.