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.
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.
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:
- complies with our policy on street naming and numbering
- 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 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:
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 or building named after their loved ones, if that is their wish. Please contact us for suggestions.
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 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:
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 circumstances
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
How we number buildings Toggle accordion
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
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 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.
New street name suggestions from Parish Councils Toggle accordion
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.
The name of an unnumbered house is part of the official address and not an addition.
Owners can name their properties without informing us, 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.
Changing the name of a numbered house or building
Where a property has a number, it must be used and displayed.
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.
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
New street name
New building name
Renaming existing building
Addition of name to numbered property
1 to 5 dwellings
6 to 25 dwellings
26 to 75 dwellings
Over 76 dwellings
Division of existing property into flats
Confirmation of postal address
Amendment to approved schedule or plan
Reinstating postal address following demolition and reconstruction of dwelling
Archive search (providing historic property information)
If the proposed works are not listed above as a standard charge, we will advise you of the cost.
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.
If you have any questions, please contact us