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Street naming and numbering is an important aspect of modern life that is often taken for granted.

It’s important enough to need legislation to enforce the requirements of government.

Acts of Parliament give councils the ability to produce regulations about putting signs up to name public streets, and to ensure names and numbers of buildings are displayed properly. They drive the creation of logical and consistent addresses.  They ensure that properties can be located quickly in all situations. 

Main statutory responsibilities

SNNs carry out a whole range of duties – all designed to enable conformance with street naming and numbering legislation.

That includes Sections 64 and 65 of the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847 (for numbering of properties and Street naming), Section 21 of the Public Health Act Amendment Act 1907 (for alteration of names of Streets), and Sections 17, 18 and 19 of the Public Health Act of 1925.

These acts are still in force even though they’ve over 150 years and 75 years old, respectively.

Other responsibilities

SNNs also carry out duties to enable conformance with local Acts, such as, the Humberside Act 1982 or the London Building Acts (Amendment) Act 1939 (Part 2). These ‘local legislations’ require the council to prepare street naming and numbering schemes and to maintain a good standard of street nameplates. They’re essential for the efficient functioning of postal and emergency services as well as for the convenience and safety of the general public.

The Public Health Act 1925, Section 19 gives authorities the power to insist that the name of every street shall be shown in a conspicuous position and, also alter or renew it if it becomes for any reason illegible. It also makes it illegal to pull down or remove a street name, or to fix a notice or advertisement within close proximity to the sign. Anyone found guilty of infringing these requirements can be liable to a fine imposed by a Magistrates Court