Filming in Exeter

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3. Getting permission to film

Exeter City Council can only grant permission on land or property that it owns.

If you are filming in specific areas of the city you will need to obtain permission as described below:


Highways permission and management

You will need to obtain permission to film from Highways at Devon County Council.  Officers there will agree safe places to film and for film vehicles to park (eg: to park trucks in unusual places or to use High Street which is normally a bus-only zone) and for access.


Exeter Quay

A popular area of Exeter, there are many activities and businesses here. Film-makers must ensure that their work does not restrict or encroach upon any activities or businesses operating in this area.  Parking is not generally available however there are public car parks nearby. Film makers will have to indemnify the council against any claims or actions arising out of the filming or occupation of any part of the quay. Each application will need to be considered individually, therefore please complete the online form to request specific permissions from Exeter City Council.


Exeter City Council owned Parks and Open Spaces

Depending on the type of filming you will need express permissions from the Parks Manager. There will be no access or impact to trees or structures within parks and open spaces without express prior permission, and axle weight will be required of any large vehicles.  At least 2 working days notice is required to process your request. Please complete the online form to request specific permissions from Exeter City Council.


Cathedral area

To film in the Cathedral or on the Cathedral Green (the area within the wall around the green) you will need to obtain permission from the Cathedral. The Cathedral usually asks for a donation for filming inside the Cathedral or on the Green.


Princesshay Shopping Centre

This shopping centre is privately owned. Contact the Princesshay Manager on 01392 459838 for permission to film here.


Guildhall Shopping Centre

This shopping centre is also privately owned and will allow some filming. Contact The Guildhall Shopping Centre Manager on 01392 201910 for more information.


Local Police

For filming that could draw a crowd, large projects or for special requests, please let the Police Events Planning Officer know where and what you intend to film. If you are intending to use fake firearms or other props or scenes that could cause concern or a disturbance, please also notify the local police.


Health and safety

Your legal duties - All film production teams must carry out risk assessments for their chosen location at the time of filming. This is to ensure the safety of the crew and the safety of the general public. This is a useful document produced by the Health and Safety Executive There is a helpful section from page 10 of this document on Risk Assessment. 


Filming with Drones

If you are considering using an unmanned aircraft commercially you must ensure (to avoid prosecution and to abide by safety rules) that you know and obey the law surrounding this. You will also need to submit detailed information on the online form describing take off and landing sites and method statement, as well as providing a CAA licence and appropriate insurance.

For example:

  • Any commercial drone user must be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

  • Small unmanned aircraft cannot be operated within 50 metres of any person, vessel, road, vehicle or structure not under the control of the aircraft operator gives outline legal guidance from the Civil Aviation Authority. We recommend that all users of drone cameras watch the helpful video. Please compete the online form to request permissions and to upload relevant licences and documents.