Cookie Consent by Privacy Policies Generator website

Street naming and numbering policy and procedure


Darlington Borough Council is the Local Authority responsible for street naming and numbering. This statutory function is carried out under section 17 and 18 of the Public Health Act 1925, which the Council has adopted and section 64 and 65 of the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847.

The Council will follow best practice and will name and number streets and dwellings in accordance with the Street Naming and Numbering data entry conventions for the National Address Gazetteer. Following these conventions ensures the procedures are compliant with British Standard BS7666:2006.

Ensuring the Council has 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 (for example Utility Providers) have up to date and accurate records
  • Visitors can easily find where they wish to go

Anyone seeking an address change or the creation of an address for a new property must apply to the Council in writing following the procedures outlined in this policy.

The Councils street naming and numbering officer can be contacted as follows:

There has been a problem!


Charges will be made for the street naming and numbering service. These charges cover the following:

  • Consultation and liaising with external organisations such as Royal Mail
  • The naming and numbering of properties and producing plans
  • Alterations in either name or numbers of new developments after initial naming and numbering has taken place.
  • Notifications to organisations listed in appendix A
  • Confirmation of addresses
  • Challenges to existing addresses

All charges are to be paid in full prior to changes/notifications being made.

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

Naming streets and numbering properties 

Contact should be made with the Street Naming and Numbering Officer as soon as the development has been granted planning permission. An informative regarding this will be included on the Planning Decision Notice. Problems can arise if purchasers have bought properties which have been marketed under an unofficial name and legal documentation has already been drafted. The Council will accept no responsibility for costs incurred by individuals or property developers for failure to follow this policy.

Suggestions for new street names should be submitted to the Council’s Street Naming and Numbering Officer for consideration against the criteria. The Officer may accept the suggestion or object to it and offer an alternative. Once a suitable suggestion which meets the Council’s criteria has been selected, the Officer will seek agreement with the developer.

The developer is responsible for the installation and maintenance of new street name signs. For sign specification refer to Section 14 of the Design Guide and Specification for Residential and Industrial Estates Development [pdf document]. The signs will become the responsibility of Darlington Borough Council once the street becomes highway maintainable at public expense.

No street name signs shall be erected until the street name has been confirmed in writing.

Return to the top of the page

Guidelines for street naming and numbering 

The property developer should not give any postal addresses, including post codes, to potential occupiers, directly or indirectly (for example through a 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 the street does not have an existing 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 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.

Return to the top of the page

Procedure for street naming

New street names should avoid duplicating any similar name already in use 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 always try to use 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 should be avoided.

Street names must not cause offence having particular regard to race, disability, gender, age, faith and belief and sexual orientation.

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 normally permitted. Only exceptional circumstances will be given consideration. 

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 numeric characters.

Return to the top of the page

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 front door faces.

The number 13 will be excluded from the numbering scheme.

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 property is converted into flats, the flats should be allocated suffixes A, B for example. The same shall apply for any form of property sub-division.

If a block of flats is built in a numbered street and cannot be integrated into the current numbering of that street, a name will be given to the block and the flats numbered internally commencing with number 1, which will be on the lowest floor, 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 for example, 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 3-5.

A piece of land, such as a field or a building not able to receive delivery of mail or services 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 the 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.

Return to the top of the page

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.

Return to the top of the page

Procedure to rename an existing street or renumber properties

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

The Council will consult with all the property owners in the street and 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 decide it is necessary to rename or renumber an existing street then the costs will be met by the Council.

Return to the top of the page

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.

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

A house name can be added to an existing numbered property by contacting Royal Mail Address Management Team.

Appendix A 

List of organisations informed of new address information:

  • Darlington Borough Council Land and Property 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

Return to the top of the page

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.

Return to the top of the page


Install our web app.