Street Name Plates are provided and maintained by St Albans City and District Council
Date of last review: 12 September 2012
To report any faults on Street Name Plates, please email details to email@example.com or telephone our Infrastructure section on on 01727 819392.
This page contains information for those wishing to change the name or number of their property or those seeking an address for a new property. It also provides advice to assist in choosing an address that meets the criteria of the Council and postal and emergency services.
Naming and numbering of streets and buildings
St Albans City & District Council controls the naming and numbering of streets and buildings. These powers are contained in Sections 64 & 65 of the Town Improvement Clauses Act 1847 and Sections 17-19 of the Public Health Acts 1925.
The purpose of this control is to make sure that any new street names and building names and numbers are allocated logically with a view to ensuring amongst other things, that emergency service vehicles (ambulances and fire appliances) are able speedily to locate any address to which they may be summoned.
Anyone wishing to change the name or number of their property or seeking an address for a new property should apply in writing to the Council enclosing an officially approved site location and layout plan. Forms for this purpose can be downloaded from this page or obtained from Planning and Building Control, Infrastructure section (01727 866100 x 2755 or 2576).
As far as street naming proposals are concerned, the Council is happy for developers or occupiers to propose their own preferred addresses for consideration; however it is recommended that more than one suggestion for a new name should be put forward just in case one fails to meet the criteria outlined. Please note that it is desirable that any suggested road name should have some connection with the area or history of the area. The Council’s decision is final.
Where appropriate, the Council wishes to promote the names of fallen service personnel, from the St Albans district, by offering their families a chance to have a street/road/building named after their loved ones, if that is their wish.
If your proposals comply with the Councils Policy on Street Naming and Numbering and do 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 will be notified. (There are approximately 40 of these: Ordnance Survey, Land Registry etc.) Renaming or Renumbering Plans will be issued by the Council where necessary.
If you have difficulty selecting an appropriate name and would like advice on local history in order to make a relevant choice (this is recommended), please contact the local library.
Two significant problem areas in naming and numbering are:
- The overwhelming desire of applicants to repeat existing names in new roads or building titles i.e. a request for St Mary’s Close off an existing St Mary’s Way, near St Mary’s Church etc.
- The informal adoption of unofficial ‘marketing’ titles used by developers in the sale of new properties (these often fall foul of the Policy on a number of counts and occupiers of such premises unfortunately feel aggrieved by the ‘loss’ of a supposedly prestigious address and its replacement with something perhaps a little more mundane.
It is to be remembered that the object of the exercise is to establish a unique, unambiguous and logical address for each property within the St Albans district.
Another aspect of the name selection that is considered in allocating street names, linked again to the emergency services, is the selection of names that can easily be understood over the telephone in the event of an emergency (they should be easy to spell and pronounce). The adoption of names having no more than three syllables and, wherever possible, little scope for ambiguity in spelling is favoured for this reason.
The guidelines below set out the Council’s criteria for street naming and numbering – variations from the general rule are sometimes allowed but only where it is considered that the ‘public safety’ objectives are not put at risk.
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 circumstances
End – for a road with only one entrance/exit
All new pedestrian ways should end with:
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
It should be remembered that a new name should be completely different from any already in use in the area. (A change in the terminal word is not considered a different name: for example ‘Chestnut Close’ would not be allowed if there was already a ‘Chestnut Road’.)
For private houses in existing unnumbered roads it is essential that the houses are officially allocated names, which are registered with the emergency services. Anyone wishing to change the name of their unnumbered house must also apply to the Council.
Where a property has a number, it must be used and displayed. Where a name has been allocated as well as a number this must always be used with the number: it cannot be regarded as an alternative. Names for all buildings must be allocated by the Council except for private dwellings with numbers where a name may be used in addition to the number (obviously the chosen name should not repeat an existing name elsewhere in the street). If you wish to call your house ‘Dunroamin’, this is quite acceptable to the Council as long as you continue to use the street number. More than one ‘Dunroamin’ in the street, would, however, be unacceptable. Following this rationale of this policy and in order to avoid confusion a different, unique name should be chosen. The Council will not formally allocate a name as part of an address unless it meets these criteria.
You should be aware that it is Royal Mail policy, when a property has a number and a name, that the number will take precedence. The house name will be treated as an alias. You should therefore, use both the house name and the number.
The Royal Mail’s online postal address database will only show the number of your property.
Numbering of buildings
A new street is usually 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.
Private garages and similar buildings used only for housing cars etc are not usually numbered.
All numbers, including 13, 7 and 4, must be used in the proper sequence. An application to omit any number from a numbering sequence for whatever reason will be refused.
A NAMED building may not carry more than one street number.
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).
This is because often one large old house is demolished and replaced by (say) four houses. To include all the new houses in the numbering sequence would involve renumbering all the higher numbered houses on that side of the road. To avoid this disruption each new house would therefore be numbered with the number of the old house followed by a, b, c, d etc.
Annexes to buildings, for example granny flats or ancillary accommodation, 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.
An address is attached to the property and not the site the property is situated on. Following the demolition of a property/ies the associated address/es will be deactivated.
Any replacement property/ies constructed on the site will require new property address/es. It should be noted that a replacement may not be allocated the same access 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.
With regard to postcodes, these are issued by the Royal Mail Address Development Team at Sunderland, telephone number 08456 045060, on receipt of the Official Naming and/or Numbering Plan from St Albans District Council. Please inform them when the houses/flats/units have been sold or are due to be occupied.
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.
The property developer should not give 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 Local Authority. St Albans City & District Council will not be liable for any costs of damages caused by failure to comply with this.
Date of last review: 28 March 2013
How to apply
A form, which may be used to apply for a name for a new street or building, a new name for an existing street or building, or any numbering or renumbering of buildings, should be completed (see download below). If you would like to discuss your proposals before making your application, you should contact our Naming & Numbering officers in Planning and Building Control on 01727 866100 Extn. 2755 or 2576.