Statutory register - street naming and numbering
The council is the street naming and numbering authority for the area. It carries out these functions under the provisions of the Public Health Act 1925 (various sections) and the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847.
The Royal Mail are entirely responsible for allocating postcodes and it takes approximately two weeks upon receiving a request from the council for a code to be issued.
Can I name my house without contacting the council?
If a property is already numbered, a property owner can additionally name their property without contacting the council as long as it does not conflict with an existing property name in that locality. The property name in this case will not officially form part of the property address, and the property number must still be displayed and referred to in all correspondence; for example:
My "House Name" (not part of official address)
My House Number (official address)
My Road (official address)
You only need to seek permission from the council if there is no number allocated in the official address (ie. if the property has been allocated a name as part of its official address). However, it is advisable to inform us if you intend naming your property so we can check our records to see if there is a similar named property in the locality.
How do I name my house?
In the case of addresses where there is no number allocated, the allocated name does form part of the official address. In this instance property owners wishing to change the property name need to put their request in writing, stating their name, the present full address of the property and state clearly their new preferred name.
We will check our records to see if there is a similar named property in the locality and if the name is satisfactory, the new address is registered and you will be informed accordingly. If there is an issue with your preferred name, we will request alternatives.
The property name change information is then sent to Royal Mail, emergency and essential services and other relevant council services. It is the responsibility of property owners to inform their own personal contacts etc.
There is a charge for this service of £35.
Developing a single property/small development - how do I number properties?
If you are a developer of a new property (single or small development), you should contact us as soon as you commence work on site. A single or small development will usually be named or numbered into the existing street. If the property is within a numbered road, then often ABCs are used along with the adjoining number (for example 12A, 12B, 12C).
If the street has named properties, then the development plot numbers will be used initially to register the property address and subsequently, when the new owner chooses a name, we will follow our standard process of property name change. The information is then sent to public utilities, emergency services, Land Registry, Ordnance Survey and relevant council services.
Developing a large estate - how do I name new streets and number properties?
If you are a developer of a large estate, you should contact us as soon as you commence work on site so that we can process the naming of any new streets and the numbering of your new properties without delay. We will check your suggested street names for duplication in the local area and forward them to Ward Members, for consultation Wherever possible, name suggestions should follow the "theme" in the particular area you are developing in. When we have an agreed name, we will then register the street name/s and prepare a numbering schedule. The information is then sent to public utilities, emergency services, Land Registry, Ordnance Survey and relevant council services. You will also be sent a copy of the naming and numbering schedule from which we would ask you to inform all your prospective purchasers of their new property address. Where appropriate, you will be asked to provide new street name plates to our standard design, full details of which are available from Transportation Services Hatch Pond.
What happens if a street needs renaming/renumbering?
On extremely rare occasions it becomes necessary to rename or renumber a street. This is usually only done as a last resort when:
- there is confusion over a street's name and/or numbering
- a large majority of residents are unhappy with their street name
- new properties are built in a street and there is a need for other properties to be renumbered to accommodate the new properties
- the number of named-only properties in a street is deemed to be causing confusion for emergency services, postal deliveries etc.
Existing residents will be contacted and their views taken into account. To change a street name we will ballot the local residents on the issue. Hopefully there will be 100% support, but we require at least a two-thirds majority to make the change. This a very time consuming process and we are only able to progress one of these issues at any time.
The Royal Mail has very strong opinions against any renumbering/renaming of street.