Street naming and numbering

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Information on how to change the name or number of their property and how to get an address for a new property.

Changing or creating a new address

We make sure that any new street names and building names and numbers are logical so everyone including ambulances and fire appliances can find them quickly.

To change or have a new address please send us the completed form (download from below), the fee, and an officially approved site location and layout plan.

You can propose your own preferred addresses for consideration. Please give more than one suggestion and read the Council policy’s below.

We ask that:

  • any suggested road name should have some connection with the area or history of the area. If you have difficulty selecting an appropriate name and would like advice on local history, please contact the local library.
  • you think about the names of fallen service personnel, from the St Albans district and offer their families a chance to have a street/road/building named after their loved ones, if that is their wish. Please contact us for suggestions.

The Council’s decision is final.

The process

The process takes around eight weeks

We check that your proposal:

  • complies with the Council’s Policy on Street Naming and Numbering
  • does not meet with any objections from the Royal Mail or the Parish/Town Council.

The new address will be formally allocated and all relevant bodies told. There are approximately 40 of these, including Ordnance Survey, Land Registry etc.

Renaming or Renumbering Plans will be issued by the Council where necessary.

How to choose a street or building name

Please avoid:

  • repeating existing names, for example a request for St Mary’s Close off an existing St Mary’s Way, near St Mary’s Church
  • using unofficial developer ‘marketing’ titles (often these ‘prestigious addresses’ fall foul of the Policy and have to be changed)
  • giving any postal addresses, including the postcode, to potential occupiers/owners, either directly or indirectly (for example via solicitors or estate agents) before the official Naming and/or Numbering Plan has been issued by the Council.
We aim to:
  • establish a unique, unambiguous and logical address for each property within the St Albans district
  • select names that can easily be understood over the telephone in the event of an emergency (they should be easy to spell, pronounce and have no more than three syllables)
  • give guidelines on the Council’s criteria for street naming and numbering.
Variations from the general rule are sometimes allowed but only where ‘public safety’ objectives are not put at risk.

Naming streets

All new street names should end with a terminal word such as:

Road, Street, Avenue, Drive, Lane, Place or Gardens. These titles are acceptable for any type of new street within the District.

  • Crescent – for a crescent shaped road only
  • Close – for a cul-de-sac only
  • Square – for a square only
  • Hill – for a hill only
  • Circus – for a roundabout only
  • Terrace – for a terrace of houses but NOT as a subsidiary name within another road
  • Mews – this is currently popular and is considered acceptable in appropriate
  • End – for a road with only one entrance/exit
All new pedestrian ways should end with:
  • Walk, Path or Way
All named blocks should end with one of the following:
  • Court – for flats and other residential buildings
  • Mansions – other residential buildings
  • House – residential blocks only
  • Point – high residential blocks only
  • Tower – high residential or office blocks

We regularly ask Parish Councils for road name suggestions to reflect the local area and history – these can be found here

Street nameplates

Once the Naming and Numbering Plan has been issued showing the official road name, the developer of a new estate/road provides and erects new street nameplates. St Albans City & District Council will look after the street nameplates once and if the road is adopted by Hertfordshire County Council as public highway.

Please tell us if one is missing, damaged or cannot be read easily by email to streetnameplates@stalbans.gov.uk or telephone 01727 866100.

House and building names

Anyone wishing to change the name of their unnumbered house or building must apply to the Council to ensure they are registered with the emergency and postal services. The name of an unnumbered house is part of the official address and not an addition.

Owners can name their properties without informing the Council, however, it will not form part of the legal address and can cause confusion.

Please do not repeat an existing name in the same street.

Where a property has a number, it must be used and displayed.

Royal Mail, when a property has a number and a name, give the number precedence. The Royal Mail’s online postal address database will only show the number of your property.

You should use both the house name and the number.

Numbering of buildings

Street numbers, usually:
  • are numbered with even numbers on one side (normally the right approaching from the town centre) and odd numbers on the other, except for a cul-de-sac where numbering is usually consecutive in a clockwise direction
  • include all numbers, including 13, 7 and 4, in the proper sequence.
Numbers will not be given:
  • to private garages and similar buildings used only for housing cars, etc
  • a building may not have more than one number; however, there are some exceptions to this rule.
For small blocks of flats it is usual to give a street number to each dwelling but when there are insufficient street numbers available because of existing developments, the block will be numbered in the street (and possibly named as well).

To avoid renumbering existing houses in the same road, sometimes new homes will be numbered with the number of the old house followed by a, b, c, d etc.

Annexes to buildings, for example granny flats, will be given the prefix “The Annexe”. The rest of the address will be the same as the parent property eg The Annexe, 32 High Street.

For any dwelling accessed internally through commercial premises, the accommodation will be given a prefix to match the accommodation type ie The Flat. The rest of the address will be the same as the parent property, eg where a flat is above a public house and is only accessed internally, its address will be The Flat, name of Public House, street number and name.

All new addresses sent to The Royal Mail are placed on a ‘Not Yet Built’ file and will need to be activated by the developer when the property has been sold or rented.

Demolished and replacement properties

An address is attached to the property and not the land the property is situated on.

Following the demolition of a property the address will be deactivated.

Any replacement property built on the land will need a new address. Please note that a replacement property may not be allocated the same address as the original.

Renaming or renumbering of streets and buildings

Renaming/renumbering existing streets and buildings is normally avoided unless the benefits clearly outweigh the obvious disadvantages. The occupiers of houses on corners occasionally apply to change their addresses from one road to the other because they have altered their access and this is usually quite easy to arrange.

Postcodes

Postcodes are issued by the Royal Mail Address Development Team (telephone 08456 045060) on receipt of the Official Naming and/or numbering Plan from St Albans City & District Council. Please inform them when the houses/flats/units have been sold or are due to be occupied.

Disclaimer

St Albans City & District Council cannot be held responsible for any claims for compensation arising directly or indirectly from the naming of street, re-naming of street, numbering or renumbering of properties. 

St Albans City & District Council will not be liable for any costs of damages caused by failure to comply with this.

Questions and contacts

Please contact us by email to streetnameplates@stalbans.gov.uk or by telephone on 01727 866100.

Royal Mail Address Development Team (telephone 08456 045060).

Date of last review: 06 April 2017