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Road and property naming and numbering - guidelines and examples


Street naming and numbering is a statutory function. The relevant powers for local authorities are contained in:

  • Sections 64 and 65 of the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847
  • Sections 17, 18 and 19 of the Public Health Act of 1925

This legislation requires the local authority to prepare street naming and numbering schemes and to maintain a good standard of street nameplates. Both are essential for the efficient functioning of postal and emergency services as well as for the convenience and safety of the general public.

The above legislation makes it an offence for anyone to set up an address without the sanction of the Council or to use an address other than that which has been assigned. Therefore, anyone constructing a road that requires a name or property that requires a postal number should contact the Council. The Council's responsibilities include consulting the Royal Mail and notifying ward and parish councillors, emergency services and all relevant agencies on any proposals to name a new street or to rename an existing street, to inform all owner/occupiers of property naming and numbering orders and to enforce the legislation as required.

The Council's normal approach is to encourage occupiers to display the correct name/number in an appropriate manner. Where it is evident that failure to do so could result in lack of postal delivery services, or emergency services identifying the premises, then the Council will consider undertaking appropriate enforcement action.

It is to be remembered that the object of the exercise is to establish a unique, unambiguous and logical address for each property in the Borough with a view to ensuring, amongst other things, the effective delivery of mail and that emergency service vehicles are able to locate any address to which they may be summoned. To this end it is essential that all new developments are addressed, named and numbered correctly, and are issued a postcode by Royal Mail. This applies equally to both commercial and residential properties.

Royal Mail will not accept a new address or change of address intelligence from anybody other than the Council's Street Naming and Numbering Department.

Failure to apply for an official address will result in one automatically being issued for your property or properties. Once an address has been supplied under these circumstances it will not be open to change.

Any proposed street names which are subject to Section 18 of the Public Health Act of 1925 will be advertised on site by means of a notice, which will remain there for a statutory 28 days. Members of the public will be able to lodge an objection with the local Magistrates Court within 21 days of publication, if they wish to do so.

As far as street naming proposals are concerned, the Council is happy for developers or occupiers to propose their own preferred addresses for consideration, as long as they comply with the Street Naming and Numbering Policy (see 1. Naming streets in new developments); however, it is recommended that more than one suggestion for a new name should be put forward just in case one fails to meet the criteria outlined in this note.

If your proposals comply with the Council's policy, the new address will be formally allocated, and a letter will be sent out to the applicant to confirm the acceptance of the requested road name/addresses, including a specification sheet for street nameplates.

The Council, in offering this service, will undertake all necessary consultation and will inform all relevant agencies and Council departments within 21 days, a list of which will be sent out on completion.

Please note that once all relevant agencies have been notified it then becomes their responsibility to update their records and databases accordingly. The Council cannot be held responsible if they fail to do so and any complaints regarding this should be forwarded directly to either the agencies concerned or Royal Mail Head Office, as appropriate.

Developers are required to supply and erect all street nameplates for their own developments and are held responsible for ensuring that these are erected on new build streets before the occupation of any dwellings. Responsibility for the maintenance and replacement of street nameplates lies with Property and Asset Management. To report a problem with a street nameplate, or to get advice regarding their fixtures and fittings, please email

Last modified on 24 September 2022

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