Street Naming and Numbering Guidance

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Contents

1.    Introduction to this guidance

2.    Responsibility for property addressing

3.    Naming streets and numbering properties

4.    Criteria for naming streets

5.    Property numbering guidance

6.    Adding a name to a numbered building

7.    Business properties

8.    Naming streets or buildings after notable people

9.    Property re-numbering or street re-naming

10.  Objects without a postal addresses (OWPAs)

11.  Demolished properties

12.  Application process

13.  Street nameplates

 

1 .Introduction to this guidance

South Derbyshire District Council (the Council) has the legal responsibility to ensure that streets are named, and properties are numbered within South Derbyshire and this function is carried out under the provisions of the Public Health Act 1925 sections 17-19 and is covered by The Local Government Act 1972 Schedule 14 25(7).  The Council has the power to approve or reject property addresses submitted by developers or the general public, or to prescribe its own addressing schemes.

This power extends to commercial property as well as to domestic addresses.  Where street names or previous numbers have been established without reference to the Council, the Council has the authority to issue renaming or renumbering notices, under Sections 17-19 of The Public Health Act 1925.

In addition to complying with appropriate legislation, this guidance is compliant with the standards laid down by GeoPlace, the custodians of the National Address Gazetteer and the National Street Gazetteer, in their document “Data Entry Conventions and Best Practice for Addresses”.  It also draws extensively on the recommendations of their Street Naming and Numbering Working Group.  The Council is required to adhere to GeoPlace’s standards under the terms of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement.

All property developments and address changes within South Derbyshire are subject to the guidance contained within this guidance.  Maintaining a comprehensive and high standard for naming streets and numbering or naming properties is essential in order to:

  •   Facilitate emergency services finding a property without undue delay, thereby preserving life and limb.
  •   Provide consistency of property-based information across local government and within the community of users for addresses which aids service    delivery.
  •   Facilitate the reliable delivery of services and products.
  •   Help with the location of addresses for visitors.

Anyone seeking an address change, or the creation of an address for a new property, must apply to South Derbyshire District Council following the process outlined in this guidance document.

 

2. Responsibility for property addressing

All elements of an address, apart from a post town and postcode, are defined by the Council.  The numbers and names assigned to property and the official names assigned to streets are the intellectual property of the Council.

Allocation of postcodes is managed by Royal Mail and must be confirmed by them.   The Council will undertake this process on the applicant’s behalf and inform the applicant and other interested parties.  The maintenance of postcode information, and any future change to individual postcodes or postcode sectors, is the responsibility of Royal Mail.

The Council accepts no responsibility or liability for omission of postcode or post town information, nor for any failure of services arising from this omission.

 

3. Naming streets and numbering properties

  • The need for a new street name, or the renumbering of properties can occur for a variety of reasons including:
  • New build developments, including demolishing and re-building a single property.
  • Splits, for example conversion of a single building to flats or commercial units.
  • Mergers, for example conversion of two or more units into one.
  • Moving the main entrance to a different street.
  • Any change to the building name if the property is not numbered.

 

4. Criteria for naming streets

The Street Naming and Numbering team will use the following conventions when deciding if a new street name is acceptable.

Any street name suggestions sent to the Council must follow these guidelines which are in line with best practice as laid out by GeoPlace, the custodians of the National Address Gazetteer and the National Street Gazetteer.

The Council will endeavour to promote names with a local or historic significance to the area. However, it is not sufficient cause to object to a name if it fails to meet this criterion.

  • New street names will not duplicate any name already in use within the same postal town. A variation in the suffix, for example, "street", "road", "avenue", will not be accepted as sufficient reason to duplicate a street name.
  • The street name should have an appropriate suffix which must be descriptive of the road, for example, ‘Close’ to indicate a cul-de-sac.
  • Street names with phonetically similar names are to be avoided, for example Willows Avenue and Winnows Avenue.
  • Street names that may be considered or construed as obscene, racist or which would contravene any aspect of the Council’s equal opportunities policies will not be acceptable.
  • New street names must not include a number, for example, 20 Seven Foot Lane sounds the same as 27 Foot Lane.
  • Street names that may be open to re-interpretation by graffiti or shortening of the name must be avoided.
  • New street names will not be assigned to new developments when such developments can satisfactorily be included in the current numbering scheme of the street providing access.
  • Street names must not begin with the word ‘The’.
  • Street names must not contain any punctuation of any kind.
  • Street names should not be difficult to pronounce or awkward to spell as these may lead to confusion in an emergency situation or result in demands for a change of address from occupiers.
  • New street names shall not end in “s” where it can be construed as either a possessive or plural.
  • In order to avoid causing offence either by inclusion or exclusion, no street will be named after any living person (for naming streets after notable people see separate section).
  • Names that promote a company, service or product will not be allowed.  Names based on a developer’s trading name are seen as advertising and are not acceptable. An exception to this may be made for a company that no longer exists, if used solely in an historical context and the claim of advertising cannot be made.
  • Street names must not have a name with Royal connotations unless the consent of the Lord Chamberlain’s office has been granted. It is the developer’s responsibility to obtain this consent. For further information, see http://www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchUK/Symbols/UseroftheRoyalArms.aspx.
  • We reserve the right to object to any suggested name deemed to be inappropriate.

Street suffixes

All new street names will end with a suffix below.  Street names with no suffix will not be allowed due to the potential for confusion. Existing streets with no suffix will not be renamed unless required for other reasons. Permitted suffixes are:

  • Avenue - residential street or major roadway, often tree-lined
  • Bank – usually used for streets that have an edge, embankment or verge
  • Brook – usually used for residential streets that run near to a brook, river or stream
  • Chase – usually used for small residential streets in a valley or for streets built on hunting ground
  • Circle / Circus - Circular Shaped road only
  • Close – used for a dead-end street or no through road
  • Court – often used for streets that form a square or rectangle, similar to the use of a square
  • Crescent – usually a short curved street
  • Crest – residential road at the crest of a hill
  • Croft – usually a short street built on a very small farm
  • Dale – usually refers to a street built in a valley or basin
  • Drive – commonly used in suburban areas both for residential streets and major roadways
  • End - Cul-de-Sac only
  • Gardens - garden fronted buildings
  • Grove - garden fronted buildings
  • Green – usually residential street, often with a park-like setting
  • Hill – usually refers to a street that travels upon a hill
  • Lane – a minor residential road, narrow roads, especially in the countryside
  • Mews - provided it does not repeat the name of the road from which access is gained
  • Park – a short, residential street, usually a cul-de-sac
  • Place – a small residential street or a narrow street or small square
  • Quay – a road immediately parallel to a navigable waterway
  • Rise -usually refers to a street that travels upon a hill, similar to the use of Hill
  • Road - main road and thoroughfare
  • Row – usually refers to streets with townhouses, but commonly used for any residential street
  • Square – often used for streets that form a square or rectangle, often with a park or large square at their centre, used for markets, gatherings etc.         
  • Street – a main road and thoroughfare
  • View – usually used for streets that have vista or panoramic outlook
  • Walk – usually a narrow pedestrian only passage
  • Way – a wide range of use, from an alley-like definition to a residential street to a major roadway in new developments, used to describe a way that leads from one place to another ds.
  • Wharf – usually roads immediately parallel to a navigable waterway
  • Yard – usually a collection of business properties around a central courtyard

The use of 'North', 'East', 'South' or 'West (as in 'Alfred Road North' and 'Alfred Road South') for new streets is only acceptable where the road is continuous and passes over a major junction. It is not acceptable when the road is in two separate parts with no vehicular access between the two to ensure streets and addresses are easily locatable.

The Council will consider other suffixes if the developer can demonstrate a particular reason for the choice, such as an historical map or document, providing the chosen suffix is descriptive of the street.

 

5. Property numbering guidance

  • All properties must be numbered onto the street name which provides direct access to the property, which is generally the street that the front door of the property faces.
  • New streets shall be numbered so that odd numbers are on the left-hand side and even numbers on the right, commencing from the primary entrance to the street or in the direction of travel from town where applicable. Where the street is a thoroughfare between two other streets, the numbering shall commence at the end of the street nearest to the centre of the town.
  • A cul-de-sac should usually be numbered consecutively, in a clockwise direction. However, where there is scope for a future development to add more properties to the street the Council may decide, on a case-by-case basis, to number differently
  • Streets which are not a cul-de-sac will only be numbered consecutively where no properties exist on the opposite side of the street and there is no potential for a future development to create such, for example, where the street runs along a riverbank.
  • All numbers must be used with the exception of number 13, as this is excluded, and allocated accordingly in sequential order.  However, gaps may be incorporated in the number sequence to allow for possible future infill development.
  • In cases of subdivisions sharing an access point, only the term ‘Flat’ or ‘Unit’ will be used.
  • Flats and Units will be numbered, for example Flat 1, Flat 2, Flat 3 and so on. A numbering scheme such as Flat A, Flat B or First Floor Flat will not be used.
  • Flats within a multi-storey block may be numbered consecutively from the ground floor upwards, following the order in which flats are reached, or numbered ‘hotel style’, where the floor level is incorporated in the number, for example first floor would be 101, 102, 103 and so on, the second floor would be 201, 202, 203 and so on.  The Council will determine the appropriate numbering scheme based on the size and layout of the development.
  • Where internal units are accessed via a shared ground floor entrance, they will be numbered as Flat 1, 24 Any Street; Flat 2, 24 Any Street, and so on.
  • Punctuation marks are not allowed, for example Flat 1.01 or Flat 11/01
  • When new properties are built on an existing street and there are no available numbers to use whilst retaining the current sequence, a letter shall be used as a suffix, for example 15A.
  • New street names will not be assigned for the sole purpose of avoiding numbers with a suffix.
  • Property numbers will be displayed as numerals and not written, for instance 26 Smith Street, not Twenty-Six, Smith Street.
  • A business name shall not take the place of a number or a building name.
  • Private garages and buildings used for housing vehicles and similar purposes will not be numbered.
  • A piece of land, for example a farmer’s field, cannot be given an official address. Only properties on that piece of land can have a conventional address for the purposes of delivering mail and services.

 

6. Adding a name to a numbered building

A property with a number must always use and display that number. Where a property has a name and an official number the number must always be included in the address and displayed on the property. The name cannot be regarded as an alternative to a street number.  Any request to remove a number from an official address will be refused.

The following criteria should be considered when applying to add a name to a numbered property:

  • It must not duplicate any name already in use within the Council’s boundary because this can lead to the misdirection of emergency services as well as incorrect delivery of mail, goods and services.  A variation in the suffix, for example, "House", "Court", "Building", will not be accepted as sufficient reason to duplicate a building name.
  • Building names with phonetically similar names are to be avoided, for example Willows House and Winnows House.
  • Names that may be considered or construed as obscene, racist or which would contravene any aspect of the council’s equal opportunities policies will not be acceptable.
  • Names that may be open to re-interpretation by graffiti or shortening of the name will be avoided.
  • To avoid causing offence either by inclusion or exclusion, no buildings will be named after any living person.
  • For naming buildings after notable people see separate section.
  • New street names shall not end in “s” where it can be construed as either a possessive or plural.
  • Building names must not begin with the word ‘The’.
  • The name does not contain any punctuation of any kind.
  • Building names should not be difficult to pronounce or awkward to spell as these may lead to confusion in an emergency situation or result in demands for a change of address from occupiers.
  • Names that promote a company, service or product will not be allowed.  Names based on a developer’s trading name are seen as advertising and are not acceptable. An exception to this may be made for a company that no longer exists, if used solely in an historical context and the claim of advertising cannot be made.
  • Property names should not replicate street names.
  • We reserve the right to object to any suggested name deemed to be inappropriate.

Building name suffixes

All new building names will end with a suffix.  Building names with no suffix will not be allowed due to the potential for confusion. Existing buildings with no suffix will not be renamed unless required for other reasons. Permitted suffixes are:

  • Building - Any large distinctive building
  • Centre - Business centre
  • Court - Any low-rise development
  • Heights - Tall building at least twice as tall as it is wide/long
  • House - Any residential or commercial building
  • Mansions - Large building occupying an entire block, which has no units with street doors
  • Point - Tall building at least twice as tall as it is wide/long
  • Studios - Mixed business/residential only
  • Tower - Tall building at least twice as tall as it is wide/long
  • If a building has historically had a suffix which is not on this list, it may be allowed even if it has dropped out of use in recent years. Developers will need to provide evidence of the historical suffix, for instance an old map showing the original building name.

 

7. Business properties

The addressing of business or industrial units will be considered on an individual basis. The following shall also apply:

Properties/buildings which are used for commercial purposes, for example on industrial estates or retail parks, should be named rather than numbered if not currently located in a numbering scheme. This will allow for easy divisions or merges of businesses to be addressed appropriately without dramatically changing the original address. Business names will then be added or removed where necessary without the official property address changing:

An existing building is occupied by one business and will be addressed as:

Business name which may be amended               ACME HOLDINGS

Property name/number                                               Rose House/11                      

Street                                                                          Civic Way

Postal Town                                                                Swadlincote                           

Postcode                                                                     DE11 0AH                              

Subsequently, the building is modified to accommodate two separate businesses, and will be addressed as follows:

Business name which may be amended               ACME Holdings         Global Enterprises

Unit 1                          Unit 2             

Property name/number                                               Rose House/11           Rose House/11          

Street                                                                          Civic Way                    Civic Way       

Postal Town                                                                Swadlincote                Swadlincote

Postcode                                                                     DE11 0AH                   DE11 0AH

 

8. Naming streets or buildings after notable people

To preserve the exclusivity of this kind of commemoration it needs to be applied sparingly. On that basis only one such name per development will be allowed. There are also a set of further principles which should be adhered to:

  • The full name of a living person should never be used as a street or building name.
  • The full name of person who gave his or her life protecting the people of South Derbyshire could be commemorated in a street or building name one year after death. Efforts should be made to choose an appropriate location, though this would be dependent on a suitable development taking place. The developer will be required to get consent for this naming from the next of kin or trustee of the person being commemorated.
  • The full name of a person who made an outstanding contribution to the District or gained an enduring international reputation while working in South Derbyshire, may be commemorated in a street or building name five years after death. The developer will be required to get consent for this naming from the next of kin, or trustee, of the person being commemorated. Where the passage of time makes this impractical, efforts must be made to publicise the intended honour, to give descendants an opportunity to comment.
  • The full name of a person who was born or raised in the district and subsequently gained an enduring international reputation may be commemorated in a street or building name five years after death. The developer will be required to get consent for this naming from the next of kin, or trustee, of the person being commemorated. Where the passage of time makes this impractical, efforts must be made to publicise the intended honour, to give descendants an opportunity to comment.
  • Other notable, eminent, or worthy candidates may be honoured by having their surname (or occasionally forename instead) commemorated in a street or building name. Subject to meeting the criteria above.
  • A brief citation may be added to the street or building sign at the developer’s expense.

 

9. Property re-numbering or street re-naming

Re-numbering or re-naming a group of existing properties or re-naming streets may cause costs and/or disruption to individual occupiers and wherever possible should be avoided. It is normally only considered when changes occur, such as the inclusion of a new development, which are likely to cause problems for the emergency services, or where the existing addresses could cause problems with property location.

If the Council considers that a new development will mean that existing streets and/or street numbers will need altering the developer will be required to consult with affected residents and make every effort to reach a satisfactory outcome. This may include the provision of some compensation to cover costs and inconvenience. The Council will not proceed until it has evidence of this consultation.

If the Council decides that the renaming or renumbering should go ahead it will initiate the legal processes to make the necessary changes.  The developer will be required to cover the costs of this work.

The Council will post notice of the intended street re-name along the affected street and any person aggrieved by the intended order can appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the notice being posted.

 

10. Objects without a postal addresses (OWPAs)

Properties which do not have a postal delivery point or businesses which attract either nondomestic rates or Council tax will be addressed in accordance with the conventions in this guidance. It should be noted that Royal Mail will not allocate a postcode to these types of properties or add these onto their Postal Address File (PAF) unless the owner provides a mail delivery point. Property types falling into this classification may be, for example, stores, agricultural buildings, workshops, utility sites, holiday cottages.

 

11. Demolished properties

If the demolished property occupies a site that is to be redeveloped, the new address will include the reinstatement of premise numbers previously used on that street.

 

12. Application process

Requests can be made via the forms on our website https://cutt.ly/Pleaseclickhere and returned to addresses@southderbyshire.gov.uk or posted to: Street Naming and Numbering Team, South Derbyshire District Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Swadlincote DE11 0AH.

You will also need to include:

  • A scaled location and site plan outlining the boundary of each property and marking the main entrances. The plan should show the new development in relation to any existing streets or means of access.
  • A detailed plan of the development clearly marked with plot numbers of the proposed scheme.
  • The relevant fee.

For developments with multiple occupancy (i.e Homes of Multiple Occupancy or apartments) an internal layout plan is required, to show each floor level and for developments that will have separate addressable units within the building, clearly showing the main entrance to the block and the floor level of each apartment.

The applicant for a street naming or number request should be the developer, property owner, or an agent acting on their behalf.

Property developers or owners are welcome to suggest names for new streets. These should be submitted to the Street Naming and Numbering Team for consideration against the Council’s criteria, which is outlined in this document.

The process for reaching a final decision is as follows:

  • Suggestions for a new name, rename or renumbering are sent to South Derbyshire District Council’s Street Naming and Numbering Team.
  • These suggestions are evaluated against the criteria for street names and numbering until an acceptable option or range of options is agreed.
  • This suggestion or shortlist of suggestions is then shared with the relevant ward members, parish council and Royal Mail for consultation.
  • This process is run virtually with all relevant parties given 21 working days to respond with comments or alternative suggestions.
  • Alternative suggestions will also be evaluated against the criteria for street names and numbering.
  • Once a decision has been reached the new address will be formally allocated and all relevant bodies will be notified.
  • Where a dispute arises, the matter will be decided by the person with delegated powers, in line with the Council’s constitution.

 

13. Street nameplates

Street nameplates cannot be erected until the street name has been confirmed in writing by the Council.

Should any person display an unofficial street name or number on their property, then that person shall be liable to a fine under the provision of Criminal Justice Act 1982.

The Street nameplate specification document can be found here (pdf, 969kb)