Decision details

Civil Ceremonies in Heritage Houses

Decision Maker: Environment and Neighbourhood Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Sutton’s Heritage Houses exist to preserve and promote Sutton’s heritage. With National Lottery Heritage funding Sutton Council's Heritage Houses are now accessible, informative, creative and inspirational heritage venues for local people. The report, in partnership with Registrar Services, seeks approval to licence Whitehall Museum and Honeywood House as civil ceremony venues. This will widen the appeal of Sutton's Heritage Houses to couples who are looking for an alternative local intimate setting for a civil ceremony.


Jan Underhill, Assistant Director of Wellbeing, and Kelly Saini Badwal, Head of Cultural Services, presented the report.


Feedback on the proposals was positive from members and benefits were highlighted, including improving the local economy on Cheam and Carshalton High Streets, making use of local heritage and expanding the local offer to residents. Members suggested that the relevant Local Committees be informed at their next meetings and that officers should consider expanding the service to other heritage buildings within the borough. 


In response to questions, the officers clarified that:

  • The hire of the heritage houses would be aimed at ceremonies with up to 20 guests in attendance. 
  • Officers do not expect any parking issues due to the small size of the ceremonies and the local car parking facilities nearby. Should problems arise from parking, officers are in control of the bookings and are able to scope the bookings to ensure that it does not impact severely on the parking facilities. 
  • Each house is expected to raise £4,000 of additional income a year, based on 1 booking, per month, per house. 
  • The ceremonies will be discreet and will not impact the core heritage service, including visitors to the house. 
  • Neither houses will be closed in preparation for providing civil ceremonies and the preparation costs will cover administration and any additional furniture required. 
  • Officers have the full support of relevant friends group Chairs and they welcome their involvement in the planning process. 


During the discussion, the Assistant Director of Wellbeing agreed to provide members with a breakdown of the visitor numbers to each property.  


RESOLVED: that the Honeywood Museum and Whitehall Historic House be registered as venues for civil ceremonies, with effect from 1 May 2020.

Report author: Kelly Saini Badwal

Publication date: 24/03/2020

Date of decision: 11/03/2020

Decided at meeting: 11/03/2020 - Environment and Neighbourhood Committee

Accompanying Documents: