Street naming and numbering

Information on naming and numbering of streets and how to register a new address

Street naming and numbering is a statutory service that we undertake to issue and officially register postal addresses within our Borough. We have adopted the provisions of Sections 17 to 19 of the Public Health Act 1925.

We require planning permission to be granted before the name of streets or private addresses can be processed. If a property does not have an official postal address it will not be registered on any database and therefore no one will know the property exists.

Organisations such as Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hampshire Constabulary and the Ambulance Service require the registration of all properties in the Borough to enable them to keep their databases up to date with address information in the case of an emergency call out.

If a property is not registered it is likely that the occupants will experience problems applying for utility services, mortgages and credit cards as well as ordering goods and services online because all checks require the registration of an official postal address.

When a property is officially registered the postal address is confirmed and entered onto the Royal Mail database. It is the Royal Mail database that all other organisations purchase address information from to update their own individual databases.

You need to complete an Allocation of Official Postal Address Form which is used to register postal addresses for new builds, new developments, the addition of property names, a property name change, register an existing but previously unregistered postal address and to register the conversion of a property into flats.

Street Naming Guidance

Naming your property if it already has a number

If your home is already numbered, you can name it without contacting us, as long as it does not conflict with an existing property name locally.

The name you give your home will not be part of the official address and you will still need to display and refer to the number in any correspondence. For example:

'My House' (not part of official address)
6 My Road (official address)

If you wish to add a name to your property you must continue to keep the house number prominently displayed and continue to quote the number on all correspondence. The house number is the primary identifier for a property; the addition of the property name is secondary to the official address.

Renaming your property if it does not have a number
If your home has a name, but no number, as part of its official address and you want to change the name, you will need to ask us for permission. To do this, please complete and return an Allocation of Official Postal Address Form.

We will contact Royal Mail to see if there are any similarly named properties near you. We will also check our information systems and if the name is satisfactory, we will register your new address. 

Once we have approved the new name, we will notify you, Royal Mail, emergency and essential services and other council services about the property name change. It will be your responsibility to tell your own personal contacts. 

Naming and numbering new properties - single or small developments

If you are a developer of a single new property, a small development or a conversion, you will need to complete an Allocation of Official Postal Address Form and send it to us with the drawings.

We will normally incorporate the naming or numbering of a single property or small development into the existing street. If it is a numbered road, we will often use A, B or C with the neighbouring number, so for example, new properties would become 12A, 12B and 12C.

If the street has named properties, we will use the development plot numbers initially to register the addresses. When the new owner chooses a name, we will follow our standard procedure for renaming a property.

We will then send the information to public utilities, the emergency services, Land Registry, Ordnance Survey and relevant council services.

We will also send you a copy of the registered address from which we would ask you to inform your prospective purchasers of their new property address. 

Naming and numbering streets and properties on a large estate

If you are a developer of a large estate, you will need to complete an Allocation of Official Postal Address Form and send it to us with the relevant drawings.

We will check your suggested street names for any duplication locally and send them to Royal Mail for consultation. When we have agreed street names, we will register them and prepare a naming and numbering schedule. We will then send the information to the public utilities, emergency services, Land Registry, Ordnance Survey and relevant council services.

Once this is completed we will also send you a copy of the schedule so you can tell your customers what their property address will be. Where appropriate, we will ask you to provide new street name plates to our standard design.   

Having the correct documents will ensure your application is of the highest standard, and therefore will help us process your application in a timely manner avoiding any unnecessary delays.

The developer is responsible for providing the following for every development over 10 plots:

  • Site layout plan - clearly showing the proposed road names (if applicable) and numbering
  • Plot to postal schedule - showing plot numbers, house numbers and road names

Relevant document examples:

What happens if a street needs renaming or re-numbering?

On rare occasions, it may be necessary to rename or re-number a street. This is usually only done as a last resort when:

  • There is confusion over a street's name and/or numbering
  • A group of residents are unhappy with their street name
  • New properties are built in a street and the existing properties need to be renumbered to accommodate the new properties
  • The number of name-only properties in a street is seen to be causing confusion for visitors, deliveries or emergency services

In this case, we will contact residents and ask for their views. We will then consult Royal Mail. To change a street name, we have to ballot those residents affected and must have at least two-thirds in agreement to make the change.

If you decide to go ahead and ask for your street name to be changed, you will need to apply using an Allocation of Official Postal Address Form