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, and Sections 17, 18 and 19 of the Public Health Act of 1925. Under the provision of the Public Health Act 1925 – Section 18, Local Authorities are responsible for providing street names and numbers for all new roads and housing developments.
The purpose of this control is to make sure that any new street names and numbers are allocated logically to ensure amongst other things, the effective delivery of mail and the location of addresses by the emergency services. Clear, unambiguous property addresses are therefore essential.
Maintaining a comprehensive and high standard for naming streets and numbering or naming properties is important as it allows:
- Emergency services to find a property quickly (delays can risk lives and increase costs)
- Mail to be delivered efficiently
- Visitors to find where they want to go
- Reliable delivery of services and products
- Records of service providers to be kept in an effective manner
If you wish to:
- add a house name to an existing property (numbers cannot be changed or removed)
- create an address for a new property
You must apply to the council in writing.
We will then follow a process and charges will apply:
- The Council will request the post code allocation from Royal Mail and maintain the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) that feeds a National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG).
- Every address within the borough will be provided with an UPRN (Unique Property Reference Number) uploaded to the Local and National Street Gazetteers (LSG & NSG) which form the basis of the NLPG.
- The aim of the National Address Gazetteer Database is to provide one definitive source of address data for public sector purposes.
Official addresses will be issued to comply with national addressing standards.
Naming & Numbering – the Principles
Guidance is provided nationally on the best practice for Street Naming and Numbering via GeoPlace, which forms the basis of this local convention and procedure adopted for Warrington Borough Council.
New street names must avoid duplicating any similar name already in use in the authority area, bordering town/village nearby or in the same postcode area. A variation in the final word, for example, "street", "road", "avenue", will not be accepted as sufficient reason to duplicate a name.
Street names must not be difficult to pronounce or awkward to spell. Both Street and building names should not start with ‘The’ or end with ‘s’ if the ‘s’ suggests a plural such as ‘Lanes’. We will not adopt any unofficial ‘marketing’ titles used by developers in the sale of new properties.
Although historic road names exist in Warrington the use of North, East, South or West (as in Cinnamon Lane North and Cinnamon Lane South) will only be accepted as mitigation to changes in the environment that result in a road with existing addresses being severed.
Two phonetically similar names within a postal area and, if possible, within the authority boundary and surrounding areas will not be acceptable. For example Churchill Road and Birch Hill Road.
The use of a name which relates to a person deceased will be given consideration however justifications for the recognition, together with written agreement from the next of kin or family will be required. The application should provide details of the significant contribution the person has made to the local community in the area in which the highway is located. Decisions in this regard will be made by the Council’s Traffic Committee. The names of living people will not be considered.
The council may wish to support the adoption of historic connotations by developers – guidance on this will be provided by Street Naming & Numbering officer to developers through liaison with any local historic societies should they exist.
Names that could be considered or construed as obscene, racist or which would contravene any aspect of the council’s equal opportunities policies will not be acceptable. Similarly, names are unacceptable if they would give rise to spelling difficulties or would lead to variations in the use of punctuation as these are likely to give rise to confusion or result in early demands for a change of address from occupiers.
All new street names should ideally end with one of the following suffixes:
- Street (for any thoroughfare)
- Road (for any thoroughfare)
- Way (for major roads)
- Avenue (for residential roads)
- Drive (for residential roads)
- Grove (for residential roads)
- Lane (for residential roads)
- Gardens (for residential roads) subject to there being no confusion with any local open space
- Place (for residential roads)
- Crescent (for a crescent shaped road)
- Court/Close (for a cul-de-sac only)
- Square (for a square only)
- Hill (for a hillside road only)
- Vale (for residential roads)
- Rise (for residential roads)
- Row (for residential roads)
- Wharf (for residential roads)
- Mews (for residential roads)
All new pedestrian ways should end with one of the following suffixes:
The developer or proposer of a renaming application is responsible for the costs of providing new street nameplates or nameplate changes. It is unlawful to set up a street nameplate until the street naming process is completed and formal notice has been provided.
All properties on newly named streets will be allocated numbers. A new street will be numbered from the start of the street with: even numbers on the RIGHT side, and odd numbers on the LEFT. Where the new street is a cul-de-sac, numbering will run consecutively in a clockwise direction.
The start of a street will be determined by the nearest main or major road that it is served from. In the case of a major road, numbering will start from the point nearest to the town centre travelling away from the town.
The number 13 will not be used unless it is specifically requested in the application. Once numbering has been applied and the first issue of official addresses confirmed, it will not be possible to remove it without an application for re-numbering and the appropriate fee paid.
If a multiple occupancy building has entrances in more than one street, then each entrance may be numbered in the appropriate road. However the building will only have a singular number per street (i.e. not 82 – 86 but simply 82).
In residential buildings (example, blocks of flats) it is usual to give a street number to each dwelling where the block is up to six storeys in height. When the block exceeds this height or there are not sufficient numbers available because of existing development, the block will be given a name and the flats within it will be numbered separately internally. Such names will be treated in the same way as house names. Flats will have numbers rather than letters or description such as Flat 1 and not Flat A or Ground Floor Flat. The numbering of flats will start from the bottom in ascending order. This is important for consistency with electricity and gas meter installations.
Where individual properties are built these will be numbered within the existing sequence if possible and letter suffixes (e.g. 19A) will be used if necessary (subject to a fee – see the charging schedule). Where building takes place on the site of a demolished property, the new building will inherit the existing number.
The council has no objection to a house name being added to an existing postal address (subject to a fee – see the charging schedule), but it cannot replace the street number, which must always be used.
House names alone are not favoured by the Council, Royal Mail Address Development Centre or the emergency services as a number readily identifies the location of a property in a road. The only exception to this will be on the rare occasions, particularly in rural areas, where a street numbering sequence does not exist. When this does occur, we will accept the use of a building name to identify the property.
Street numbers and building names should always be prominently displayed where they can be easily read from the public highway.
Commercial properties/units are required to follow the same guidance as domestic developments. Organisational or trading names will not be used as the only means of identifying a property/unit due to the frequency in which these can change.
When commercial units or residential properties are converted and/or subdivided, an application will need to be made to the council for the new units to be given official addresses. Annexes will not be issued with official addresses unless they follow the street naming and numbering process. If they are being used as ancillary to the main dwelling, the main dwelling should be used for address purposes.
Renaming & Renumbering
Under Section 18 of the Public Health Act 1925 the Council can alter the name and numbers of any street if there is a particular need to do so (subject to a fee – see the charging schedule).
If evidence can be produced that all proprietors agree, an application can be made to the council for a street name change. Consideration will be given to the reasons for the request and a decision will be provided following formal consultation with the emergency services, Royal Mail, the ward councillors, and the residents/proprietors directly affected.
Warrington Borough Council is not responsible for issuing new postcodes. This is the responsibility of Royal Mail. However it will not issue a postcode for a new street or property until requested to do so by the council.
Requests to name roundabouts will not usually be considered. It is not necessary to allocate address points for services and deliveries and roundabouts are generally identifiable by the junction road names. It can be possible that some large roundabouts require unique identifiers due to utility equipment contained within them, in which case an address point/name may be considered.
Some historic local references for roundabouts have been included into the NSG (National Street Gazetteer) due to the local acceptance of the name. For example, Cockhedge Green (rdbt). However, it is only by exception that nameplates for a named island would be considered. It should be noted that the council has a policy for the sponsorship of roundabouts where approved signage is permitted.
A common occurrence has been developers amending the site layout by adding or reducing plots and changing house positions after they had already confirmed details in writing. This has therefore resulted in amended letters being re-distributed to the statutory authorities, as original numbering had already been committed. This is a frequent occurrence as developers progress fragments of the sites in stages.
It has been established nationally by GeoPlace that elements of the SNN process are subject to charges. As such, fees will be payable for the following applications:
- Applications from residents for a change of existing street name
- Addition of a house name
- Existing house name change
- If developers or businesses wish to change the name of a building to correspond with their business address
- Plot amendments on development sites inclusive of layout changes resulting in properties having to be re-numbered or re-addressed
- New build developments
House Name Changes
Payment for House Name changes is payable on submission of the application. You can pay using a card over the phone or you can make a BAC's payment. We will give you the payment details and costs when you make a request.
Renaming a Street
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details
To register a development we need the following information:
- A letter or email confirming you're requesting new addresses and quoting the planning reference number.
- Confirmation you are entering into a Section 38 Agreement or if it will remain private.
- A location plan emailed to us which highlights the building to be numbered (Please send in a PDF format).
We will then send you a quote.
Timescales: A new street name will take several weeks to complete, we need to consult with Ward Councillors and make internal checks. Ultimately the choice of name lies with us but we are open to any suggestions you feel appropriate.
Please send your request and information to email@example.com
Renumbering of Properties
Where the application is to renumber a development after original numbering has been confirmed, an invoice will be sent prior to the registration of the new addresses.