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Street naming and numbering policy and procedure

Darlington Borough Council is the Local Authority responsible for Street Naming & Numbering. 

Implementing a comprehensive Street Naming and Numbering Policy is important to ensure that:

  • Emergency Services can locate a property
  • There is reliable and efficient delivery of mail, services and products
  • Service providers (eg gas, electric, phone) have up to date and accurate records
  • Visitors can easily find where they wish to go

You will need to apply to:

  • Name a new street
  • Create a new property (new build, conversion or divisions creating multiple units)
  • Change a house name
  • Formerly add a name to a numbered property
  • Rename a street

To apply complete the online application form below.

There has been a problem!

The Councils Street Naming & Numbering Officer can be contacted as follows:


Charges will be made for the Street Naming and Numbering service.  All charges are to be paid in full before changes/notifications are made.

  • Developments with new streets:
    • Developer to provide street names - £182 per street name
    • Council to provide street names - £221 per street name
    • Plus £16 per plot
  • New properties within existing street - £37 per property
  • Rename or Renumber - £37 per property
  • Add name to numbered property - £37

Charges will be reviewed yearly during the Council’s budget setting process.

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Street naming and numbering policy


Darlington Borough Council is responsible for street naming and numbering within the Borough.

This statutory function is carried out under section 17 and 18 of the Public Health Act 1925 and section 64 of the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847.

The Council will name and number streets and dwellings using the Code of Practice for Street Naming and Numberingand the data entry conventions for the National Address Gazetteer.  Following these conventions ensures the procedures are compliant with British Standard BS7666:2006.

It is important the Council has a comprehensive Street Naming and Numbering Policy to ensure that:

  • Emergency Services can locate a property
  • There is reliable and efficient delivery of mail
  • Service providers (for example gas, electric etc) have up to date and accurate records
  • Visitors can easily find where they wish to go
  • Companies have an official address for a property, eg insurance, banks

Royal Mail will not assign a post code until the Authority has notified them of the official address. 

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Procedure for street naming

A developer may propose street names for consideration or request that the Council allocate the street names. 

The Council will apply the following criteria:

  • New street names must be distinctly different to any other existing street name within Darlington Borough. A variation in the suffix, for example Drive, Avenue, Close, is not acceptable as sufficient reason to duplicate a street name. 
  • The Council will endeavour to promote street names that reflect local, geographic or historic significance in the area.
  • Names with a common theme are preferable on a large development.
  • Phonetically similar names must be avoided.
  • Street names which are considered to be rude, obscene, discriminatory or racist are not permitted.
  • Any street name that promotes a company, service or product will not be permitted. Names based on a developers trading name are seen as advertising and are not acceptable.
  • Naming a street after a living person is not permitted.
  • Naming a street after a person who has been deceased for less than 20 years is not permitted.
  • New street names shall not be assigned to new developments when such developments can be included in the current numbering scheme of the street providing access.
  • Street names must not contain a number even if spelt as a name.
  • The consent of the Lord Chamberlain’s office must be obtained for a name with any reference to the Royal family or use of protected titles eg Royal.
  • Abbreviations must not be used, with the exception of St for Saint.
  • Punctuation should be avoided

Suggestions for new street names should be submitted via the online application form above.  Once a suitable suggestion which meets the Council’s criteria has been agreed with the developer,  the Officer will request the Decision be approved by the Delegated Executive Officer and the Cabinet Member for Local Services Portfolio.

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Procedure for numbering properties 

When numbering properties on new streets, the Council will seek to do so in the most logical manner with consideration given to potential future development.  This will adhere to the following conventions:

  • All new properties shall be numbered rather than named.
  • New streets shall be numbered with odd numbers on the left side and even numbers on the right, commencing from the primary entrance to the street.
  • Consecutive numbering in a clockwise direction may be used in a cul-de sac.
  • The number of a property will be allocated to the street onto which the access to the front door is located.
  • Flats and units shall be given individual numbers where possible.
  • If a building has entrances on more than one street, is multi-occupied and each entrance leads to a separate occupier, then each entrance will be numbered in the road onto which it faces.
  • When a numbered building is subdivided with one entrance for all flats/units then a number will be allocated to each e.g. Flat 1, 2 etc.
  • When a numbered building is subdivided with a separate entrance for each flat/unit then the building number will be split between them, e.g. 12a (front door), 12b (rear door).
  • A new block of flats in a numbered street which cannot be integrated into the current numbering of that street, will be given a name and the flats numbered internally commencing with number 1, to the left of the main entrance continuing clockwise, consecutively over all floors, excluding number 13.
  • Where building takes place on the site of a demolished property, the new building will inherit the existing property number. Where the demolished property is replaced by numerous properties, the new property should be given the number of the old property with suffixes A, B etc added.
  • Where two or more properties on a numbered street are merged, one of the numbers of the original properties would be retained, for example 1 and 3 being combined would become 1 or 3. There may be instances where it is considered appropriate to use 1-3.
  • A piece of land, such as a field or a building not able to receive delivery of mail will not be numbered or given an official address.
  • When new developments have already been issued postal addresses and the developer subsequently revises the site layout, either adding or deleting plots, then a revised numbering scheme will be carried out. Wherever possible suffixes will not be added to numbers of properties which are already owned and occupied, to avoid a change of address. 
  • New properties in an existing unnumbered street will require a property name.
  • Properties with a premises number must always use and display that number. Where a property has a name and an official number the number must always be included in the address and displayed on the property.  The name cannot be regarded as an alternative.

All properties will be assessed and numbered appropriately with reference to the Code of Practice.

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Guidelines for street naming and numbering 

The property developer should not give any postal addresses, including post codes, to potential occupiers, directly or indirectly eg. via solicitors/estate agents, before the Council has issued formal approval.  The Council will not be liable for any costs or damages caused by the failure to comply with this.

A completed application form must be sent with a site location plan showing the properties and frontages, the approved road layout and plot numbers.  For developments that include flats, internal layout plans are also required.

For any new streets, the applicant should suggest possible street names.  Several suggestions should be made in case the Council or Royal Mail object.

Where an existing street does not have a numbering scheme the developer can suggest property names.  The property names must comply with the guidelines set out in this policy.

When naming and numbering is complete the Council will contact Royal Mail who will allocate the post code and add the property to their database.

Once Royal Mail has allocated the post code the Council will write to the property developer with official confirmation of the full postal addresses.

The owner of the property must ensure that the postal number is clearly displayed on the property.

The Council will notify all statutory bodies/agencies who have requested address change information.  A list of those notified is shown in Appendix A.

Where developers have not followed the Council’s policy and occupation of the property has taken place, the Council will endeavour to contact the owner or the developer to ask for an application to be made.  If an application is not received, then the Council will allocate a postal address and charge the owner or developer retrospectively.

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Renaming streets 

Section 18 of the Public Health Act 1925 gives the Council the power, by order, to alter the name of any street, or part of a street. Notice must be displayed at each end of the street giving at least one months’ notice of the intention to rename the street. Any person aggrieved by the intended order may appeal to the Magistrates’ Court.

If the Council receives an application to rename a street, consultation will take place with all the affected property owners. Two thirds of the owners must be in favour of the proposed change before the Council will consider issuing an order under Section 18 of the Public Health Act 1925. All associated costs will be met by the property owners affected by the change.

The alteration of a street name is only undertaken where it can be shown that there are persistent problems with the delivery of mail and services.

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Procedure to rename an existing street or renumber properties

Applications to rename an existing street will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. For example if there are persistent problems with the delivery of goods and services.

The Council will consult with all the property owners in the street. They will require the agreement of at least two thirds of the owners.

If the proposal is approved a notice will be displayed on site for one month giving details of the proposed change.  Anyone who wishes to object may, within 21 days after the posting of the notice, appeal to the Magistrates Court under Section 18 of the Public Health Act 1925.

Once approved the Council will contact Royal Mail to confirm the new street name is acceptable.  Royal Mail may issue a new post code.

The Council will advise the owners of their new address as well as the organisations detailed in Appendix A.

All costs associated with this procedure will be met by the property owners.

All costs associated with the provision of the new street signs will be met by the property owners.  Once installed, the signs will be maintained by the Council.    The old signs will remain in place with a line struck through the lettering for six months.  The new signs will be installed alongside the old one.

If the Council initiates the renaming or renumbering of an existing street then the costs will be met by the Council.

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Procedure for changing or adding a property name 

To request a change to a property name, the owner must complete the application form and pay the appropriate fee.  Tenants cannot apply.

Applications must include sufficient detail to accurately locate the property, ideally on a location plan.

A check is made to ensure there a no other properties in the locality with the same or a similar sounding name.  In no circumstances will the Council allow a replicated house name in the same postal area.

The Council will not allow a name that it considers to be offensive.

If the property already has a house number, the number cannot be replaced with a name.   A name can be added but it will not form part of the official address and the number must always be used.

Once the name has been agreed the details will be sent to Royal Mail to update their records. The organisations detailed in Appendix A will also be advised.

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Appendix A 

List of organisations informed of new address information:

  • Darlington Borough Council Address Gazetteer Custodian
  • Darlington Borough Council Building Control
  • Darlington Borough Council Revenue and Benefits
  • Darlington Borough Council Land Charges
  • Darlington Borough Council Street Scene
  • Royal Mail Address Development Team
  • BT Openreach
  • Centrica
  • Northern Powergrid
  • Northumbrian Water Ltd
  • County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue
  • NE Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Ambulance Control
  • HM Land Registry
  • Durham Constabulary
  • Ordnance Survey
  • Valuation Office Agency
  • TomTom

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Appendix B 

Street name sign specification and installation

The background shall be a non-reflective white material with a 12mm black border.

The primary lettering shall be in upper case black Kindersley letters 89mm high or MOT 100mm high

Secondary lettering shall consist of:

  • Additional street names in upper case black Kindersley letters 51mm high or MOT 50mm high
  • Additional lettering/numbering in upper case black Kindersley letters 51mm high or MOT 50mm high
  • Directional arrows and other symbols should be black and appropriately sized.

Where the road has no secondary access, a ‘no through road’ sign, coloured red and white on a blue background (as sign no. 816.1 in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions) must be added to the name plates at the junction with the through road.

The name signs shall be manufactured so as to provide a complete unit comprising sub-surface graphics with a bonded back plate. Sign frames shall be constructed from mild steel and be formed into a solid backed rebated tray with a minimum rebate depth of 12mm. The faceplate should be reverse printed clear polycarbonate (or similar) with a reinforced glass fibre backing plate of 4mm thickness.

A minimum of one 25mm x 25mm box section stiffener will be attached to each tray with additional stiffeners being provided to ensure a maximum clear spacing between adjacent members of not more than 200mm and a maximum distance from top and bottom edges of 50mm.

Location of all name signs should be agreed on site.

Freestanding posts should be set a minimum 450mm below ground with a minimum 1500mm of ST4 concrete surround.

Wall-mounted nameplates to be drilled, plugged and secured with tamperproof fixings.

The developer is responsible for the installation and maintenance of new street name signs. The signs will become the responsibility of Darlington Borough Council once the street becomes highway maintainable at public expense.

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