How streets are named and numbered
The address of a property is an important issue as police, emergency services and the general public need a way of locating and referencing properties.
How streets are named
City, Borough and District Councils are empowered by Section 11 of the Local Government (Misc. Prov.) (NI) Order 1995 to allocate postal numbers to houses and buildings in their districts, and to name any new road or street.
Every effort is made to include developers in this process by inviting the applicant to submit suggestions of preferred names and possible alternatives. These names and postal numbers will then be brought before council for approval.
Can you name your house without contacting the council?
Provided your home already has a number, then the property owner can add a name to it without contacting the council. Councils have no powers over house names, the only guidance being that the owners should not choose one similar - or the same - to any other in the immediate locality. The new name can be added to an existing postal address, but the postal number cannot be deleted from the address. The property name in this case will not officially form part of the property address; therefore the property number must still be displayed and referred to in any correspondence.
What if there is no house number?
House names alone are not favoured by councils or the emergency services as a number readily identifies the location of a property on a road. Other than in exceptional circumstances a house number should be prominently displayed so it can be easily read.
What happens when a street needs renaming or renumbering?
Sometimes it becomes necessary to re-name 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 there is a need for other properties to be re-numbered to accommodate the new properties
- the number of named-only properties in a street is deemed to be causing confusion for visitors and the delivery of emergency services
Report a problem with a street name sign to your local council
Your council is also responsible for making sure that street name plates are provided and fitted in suitable positions. If you have a problem or fault with a street name plate in your area you should contact your local council using the link below: