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Guidance on the law and best practice for the re-naming of streets and buildings

Posted: 11 December 2020

GeoPlace has published comprehensive guidance for local authority Street Naming and Numbering Officers and their co-workers in England and Wales who are responsible for naming and re-naming streets and buildings.

Street naming and numbering of buildings is an important aspect of life. It’s important enough to need legislation, and Acts of Parliament enable councils to produce regulations that guide the erection of signage on public streets, and to ensure names and numbers of buildings are displayed properly. This drives the creation of logical and consistent addresses, which is essential for efficient postal delivery and emergency services and the convenience and safety of the general public.

Working closely with representatives from local authorities, GeoPlace provides technical guidance and best practice to councils on the collation of street and address information.

Recently, local authorities have been receiving more requests about changing some building and/or street names. Working in collaboration with the Street Naming and Numbering (SNN) community, and with independent legal advice from Anthony Collins Solicitors, GeoPlace has published guidance to ensure the complexities around changing a street or building name are fully understood and documented.

This accessible, comprehensive guidance combines a huge range of considerations, observations, legal definitions and procedures, annexes, and references to the most useful sources. The guide takes local authorities through all of the necessary processes and will be an invaluable reference guide for SNN officers and their co-workers when they’re responding to these types of requests.

An accessible copy of the improved guidance (‘The law and best practice for the re-naming of streets and buildings’) is available here on the GeoPlace website.



Street Naming and Numbering (SNN) Officers carry out a range of duties to enable conformance with street naming and numbering legislation. Their work involves a deep understanding of the implications drawn from 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),

Sections 17, 18 and 19 of the Public Health Act of 1925,

Local Acts, such as the Humberside Act 1982 and the London Building Acts (Amendment) Act 1939 (Part 2).

About GeoPlace

GeoPlace® LLP is a joint venture between the Ordnance Survey and the Local Government Association. It provides trusted excellence in spatial data management. GeoPlace creates and maintains large spatial address and street datasets to an exceptional standard of currency and accuracy, building and developing a data infrastructure that supports address and street information users across the public and private sectors.

Within its range of activities, GeoPlace works closely with representatives from local authorities to provide technical guidance for councils that will highlight best practice for the collection of street and address information.

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