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Street naming and numbering - the basis of Good Addressing for the nation


Why addressing is important

In today's smart phone location based society good addressing through Street Naming and Numbering (SNN) is more important than ever.  Good Addressing enables:

  • emergency and care services to find a property quickly

  • mail and goods to be delivered efficiently

  • visitors to find where they want to go

  • reliable delivery of services and products

  • records of service providers to be kept in an efficient manner

If a property that is capable of receiving mail and goods deliveries is not registered through the street naming and numbering process the address may not appear in national address databases such as AddressBase®, which is maintained through information provided by district and unitary councils which have a street naming and numbering responsibility, or be linked the Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF).

The result of an unregistered property is that the owner/occupier may encounter difficulties in obtaining mail, deliveries and services from a variety of sources, for example, locating the property by the emergency services, service connections by utilities companies, applying for a credit card, obtaining goods by mail order or even selling a property.

District and unitary councils have statutory powers to allocate house numbers/names and name roads to new developments and property conversions including residential properties, conversions and sub divisions, commercial and industrial premises. These councils also have statutory powers to re-name and re-number properties and streets where they consider it to be necessary.


Guidance on street naming and numbering for Good Addressing


Although district and unitary councils have statutory powers to name streets and number properties, they are not derived from one single legislative Act of Parliament. Councils usually exercise this statutory power through one or more of several Acts. Even though the role of the Street Naming and Numbering (SNN) officer is important, at present, there is little documentation available to enable SNN officers to enact best practice in this area and promote Good Addressing.

GeoPlace has been working closely with the Street Naming and Numbering officer community over many years to provide guidance for Street Naming and Numbering officers. We are supporting the development of an SNN officer community which will be managed through the existing Data Co-operation Agreement (DCA) governance arrangements which will ensure that the future direction and control of the community will be guided and shaped by the community itself.

The overall aim of the community is to:

·         promote a Good Addressing vision and strategy

·         develop best practice and training options for SNN officers

·         provide community cohesion

·         raise awareness of the role of SNN

·         provide a focus for SNN officers nationally

·         provide proposals for harmonising SNN processes, including statutory powers

·         provide proposals for suitable SNN guidance documentation including possible changes to the DEC-Addresses, codes of practice, policy and statutory powers reference material

·         provide aggregated feedback from the sector

·         harmonise SNN processes and common communication channels, in particular with GeoPlace, Royal Mail, property developers and members of the public for address and street name requests and queries

·         provide proposals for induction, awareness and guidance and training options for SNN officers

·         develop a five-year action plan of possible achievements and deliverables benefiting all SNN officers in the context of a good addressing vision and strategy.


GeoPlace also facilitates an active Group on the Knowledge Hub for SNN officers to provide support, advice and ask questions around SNN activities.



Good Addressing project

Access terms of reference, surveys, reports and discussion around the GeoPlace Good Addressing project.


Existing legislation

About the statutory powers that belong to councils, and the various Acts that inform them.


Good practice and guidance

GeoPlace offers good practice and guidance to councils who are creating and implementing their Street Naming and Numbering policies.


SNN policy

View various Street Naming and Numbering policies that are held by some councils.


The SNN Officer role

What does the Street Naming and Numbering Officer do?


SNN resources and discussion

Find case studies and other resources, and access discussions with other SNN Officers on the Knowledge Hub.


SNN in the news

Street naming and numbering provokes much interest due to the enduring nature of agreeing and implementing new street names. Read some of the news stories here.