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Street signs, names and numbers

Information on how to get addresses for new developments and properties, how to change or add a house name, renaming streets and renumbering properties.

Important Covid 19 - Service Update

Reports of street name plates which are missing or damaged are still being processed, however repairs may be delayed during this period.

Report a street name plate 

Please tell us if a street name plate is missing, damaged or cannot be read easily.

Street name plate issue

If you have used this service recently, we would be interested in your feedback. Please complete our Customer Satisfaction Survey - it should take no longer than two or three minutes.

Changing or creating a new address

We make sure that any new street names and building names and numbers are unique, distinct and logical. This is so that everyone can find them quickly - especially in an emergency.  Being easy to spell, pronounce and have no more than three syllables makes it easier for ambulance and fire crews to understand over the telephone.

New properties

If you are a developer of a new property, you should contact us as so as you start work on site.

A single property or small development will usually be named and numbered into the existing street. A larger development will need a new development and/or street name.

Getting a new address

The process takes around eight weeks

We check that your proposal:

  1. complies with our policy on street naming and numbering
  2. does not meet with any objections from the Royal Mail or the Parish or Town Council

Variations from the general rule are sometimes allowed but only where ‘public safety’ objectives are not put at risk. The Council’s decision is final.

Once the address is issued, the information is sent to all public utilities, emergency services, HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, Hertfordshire County Council. There are approximately 40 organisations to contact.

We will issue Renaming or Renumbering Plans where necessary. You will also be sent a copy of the registered address so that you can pass this on to prospective purchasers.

Street name plates

Once the Naming and Numbering Plan has been issued, the developer of a new estate or road provides and erects new street nameplates.

We look after the street nameplates once the road is adopted by Hertfordshire County Council as public highway.

Activating new addresses

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

Postcodes

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

Information on choosing street names Toggle accordion

You can propose your own preferred street name. Please give more than one suggestion.

We ask that:

  1. 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.

  2. 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 or building named after their loved ones, if that is their wish. Please contact us for suggestions.

Please avoid:

  1. Repeating existing names, for example a request for St Mary’s Close off an existing St Mary’s Way, near St Mary’s Church

  2. Using unofficial developer ‘marketing’ titles (often these ‘prestigious addresses’ fall foul of the Policy and have to be changed)

  3. Giving any postal addresses, including the postcode, to potential occupiers or owners, either directly or indirectly (for example via solicitors or estate agents) before the official Naming Plan and/or Numbering Plan has been issued by the Council

We regularly ask Parish Councils for road name suggestions to reflect the local area and history. 

Street names endings

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.

The following are also acceptable in specific circumstances:

  1. Crescent – for a crescent shaped road only

  2. Close – for a cul-de-sac only

  3. Square – for a square only

  4. Hill – for a hill only

  5. Circus – for a roundabout only

  6. Terrace – for a terrace of houses but NOT as a subsidiary name within another road

  7. Mews – this is currently popular and is considered acceptable in appropriate circumstances

  8. End – for a road with only one entrance/exit

All new pedestrian ways should end with:

  1. Walk, Path or Way

All named blocks should end with one of the following:

  1. Court – for flats and other residential buildings

  2. Mansions – other residential buildings

  3. House – residential blocks only

  4. Point – high residential blocks only

  5. Tower – high residential or office blocks

How we number buildings Toggle accordion

Street numbers

  1. 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

  2. Include all numbers, including 13, 7 and 4, in the proper sequence

Numbers will not be given to:

  1. Private garages and similar buildings used only for housing cars etc

  2. Buildings which already have a number - however, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Blocks of flats

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).

Use of letters

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

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 e.g. The Annexe, 32 High Street.

Dwellings accessed through commercial premises

For any dwelling accessed internally through commercial premises, the accommodation will be given a prefix to match the accommodation type i.e. The Flat. The rest of the address will be the same as the parent property, e.g. 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.

Existing properties

Changing the house or building name Toggle accordion

Changing the name for an unnumbered house or building

Anyone wishing to change the name of their unnumbered house or building must apply to us to make sure they are registered with the emergency and postal services.

  1. The name of an unnumbered house is part of the official address and not an addition.

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

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

Changing the name of a numbered house or building

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

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

  2. You should use both the house name and the number.

Renaming or renumbering of streets and buildings Toggle accordion

We do not normally support the renaming or renumbering of existing streets and buildings unless the benefits clearly outweigh the obvious disadvantages.

Owners of houses on corners occasionally apply to change their addresses from one road to the other because they have altered their access. This is usually quite easy to arrange.

Demolished and replacement properties Toggle accordion

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.

Charges for new and changes to addresses

The cost depends on the type of work and number of properties.

Table of charges Toggle accordion

Description

Charge

Naming

 

New street name

£250

New building name

£100

Renaming existing building

£100

Addition of name to numbered property

£75

Numbering

 

1 to 5 dwellings

£250

6 to 25 dwellings

£450

26 to 75 dwellings

£800

Over 76 dwellings

£1,000

Other

 

Division of existing property into flats

£200
(plus £50 for each dwelling numbering)

Confirmation of postal address

£25

Amendment to approved schedule or plan

£25

Reinstating postal address following demolition and reconstruction of dwelling

£100

Archive search (providing historic property information)

£250

 

If the proposed works are not listed above as a standard charge, we will advise you of the cost.

Apply for a new or change of address

To change or have a new address or number, please download and complete the form.

You can then upload the form, an officially approved site location and layout plan using the contact us button below.

Contact us

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. We will not be liable for any costs of damages caused by failure to comply with this.

More information

If you have any questions, please contact us

Contact us