Bath & North East Somerset Council

Street Naming and Numbering Guidelines v. 5.0 (November 2018)





Bath and North East Somerset Council has statutory powers to ensure that all streets and properties are correctly named and numbered within the district. The formal principles for this are set out in our Street Naming and Numbering Policy along with the legal basis of the policy.


These guidelines provide more detail on how streets names and numbers are allocated, and give guidance to developers on suitable names.



Street Naming and Numbering Guidelines


 Naming of New Streets

i) As far as possible, proposed names for new streets should reflect the history or geography of the site or the surrounding area. Developers are encouraged to discuss names with the Town or Parish Council (or in Bath with Bath City Forum) prior to formal application, and where possible come to agreement with them on the proposed name. Advance agreement will considerably speed up the application process.

ii) Where a site was formerly industrial, the names should not attempt to sanitise this heritage by suggesting otherwise, for example by using names such as Meadow or Orchard.

iii) Street names should not duplicate existing names in the vicinity or be similar to them.

iv) Names must not advertise a product or business.

v) The choice of names should give due regard to equalities legislation, and in particular to the Council’s responsibilities under the Public Sector Equality Duty, created by Equality Act 2010, Section 149. The Council will not accept names which could be construed as being racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise derogatory to a particular group.

vi) Where it is proposed to name a street after a member of the Royal family, applicants should seek guidance from the Lord Chamberlain’s office prior to applying to the Council.

vii) Apart from the Royal Family, the Council does not normally accept proposals for the names of living people. However where such a name is proposed, the applicant must obtain the person’s permission for the use of the name. A copy of the permission and a justification for using the name should accompany the application. Developers should bear in mind that a person currently thought worthy of a street name, might yet prove otherwise, as the cases of Councils which named streets after Jimmy Saville demonstrate.

viii) Where the name proposed commemorates a person who has living descendants who themselves knew the person to be commemorated, permission should be sought from these descendants. Where the person is of exceptional prominence, for example holders of an Olympic gold medal, Nobel Prize or Victoria Cross, permission does not have to be given, although it is still desirable to make contact with the family.

ix) Where the name proposed commemorates a person who has no surviving relatives who knew them personally, then permission does not need to be sought from their descendants, and the applicant should simply provide a justification of their suitability as a name.

x) In general, apart from saints and queens, the existing street names of Bath & North East Somerset show a strong male bias, and Town and Parish Councils are encouraged to be proactive in redressing this.

xi) Where a development consists of an estate of several streets, whose names are linked in a theme, the names should reflect a fair gender balance, although it is recognised that this is easier with some themes than others. For example, a theme of 19th Century British novelists should have a fair balance of male and female names, whereas a theme of famous admirals will inevitably be predominantly male. Consideration should therefore be given to whether the theme itself is suitable on these grounds, in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

xii) Names should be unambiguous to spell and pronounce. Confusion can be caused where several pronunciations are possible, particularly with foreign words or names, for example Eurydice.

xiii) Objections to new street names must be made to Bath Magistrates’ Court within the time period given on the site notice. Objections should be relevant to the street naming process, for example the choice of one name over another. Objections on issues such as planning policy, parking and waste collections cannot be taken into consideration.

(b) Numbering of New Streets

A new street will normally be numbered with odd numbers on the left and even numbers on the right from the entrance of the street. In the case of a cul-de-sac, consecutive numbering in a clockwise direction is carried out. All numbers will be sequential and none will be omitted. Where an existing street is to be extended, the same street name would be used together with a continuation of street numbers.  

(c) Renaming an existing street

On rare occasions, it may be necessary to rename a street. Like new streets, proposed new names for existing streets should reflect the history or geography of the site or the surrounding area. On a themed group of street names, it should retain the theme.

(d) Renumbering properties within a street

On rare occasions, it may be necessary to renumber a street or part of a street. This will be done to produce a logical sequence of numbers.

Numbers will not be changed for reasons of being “lucky” or “unlucky”.

 (e) Numbering and/or naming properties within an existing street

(i) When requests for naming and/or numbering of properties are received from developers or property owners, a check is carried out on the Land and Property Gazetteer to ensure non-duplication of names and numbers.

(ii) For property names, applicants are encouraged to submit up to three possible names, in case their first choice is unsuitable. In the unlikely event that all of the proposed names cause duplication or have similarly named properties within the vicinity, then the applicant will be informed and invited to submit a further name.

(iii) New properties in streets where the existing properties are numbered will be allocated a new number. Individual properties built on infill land e.g. large gardens, or on a site of previously demolished properties, will be numbered within the existing sequence if possible. A number with a letter suffix e.g.16A, 16B, 16C, will be used if necessary. Where a single building is erected on the site of a demolished property, the new building will normally inherit the existing number.

(iv) Where two or more properties on a numbered street are merged the numbers of the original properties are normally retained. For example 2 and 4 High Street being combined would become 2-4, High Street. There are, however, instances where it may be considered appropriate to use a single number. Each case will be considered on its merits. Surplus numbers will be retained for re-use should the property be split again in the future.

(v) A building can only have one name and one number. This is to avoid confusion and prevent the address becoming unwieldy. For example, 1 to 4 Box Place cannot also be 31 to 34 Box Court.

(vi) If a building has entrances onto more than one street, is a multi-occupied building and each entrance leads to a separate occupier, then each entrance will normally be numbered onto the street it is accessed. Exceptions to this may be necessary in some instances.

(vii) Where a property is sub-divided, as in the case of flats and apartments, individual properties should always be numbered rather than described or lettered (i.e. Flat 1 rather than First Floor Flat or Flat A). Where numbered properties are sub-divided, individual units will either be addressed by reference to the main property (e.g. Flat 1, 24, High Street) or they may be given a separate suffix (e.g. 24A, 24B). Although the floor level does not form part of the official address, it may be included as an alternative address in the LLPG for the benefit of the emergency services. In a terrace, a mixture of residential and commercial properties may be allocated the same number, even when they have separate entrances.

(f) Change of House Names or Flat Numbers

Requests for renaming or renumbering a property should be submitted by the owners of the property. Tenants should make an application though their landlord. We cannot formally change a property name where the property is in the process of being purchased until exchange of contracts. A check is carried out on the Land and Property Gazetteer to ensure non-duplication of names and numbers. If there is a possibility of duplication then the owners are informed and invited to propose an alternative name or number.

If an owner wishes to rename a building that is divided into flats or maisonettes, then evidence that they have notified all occupiers of that building of the proposed change should be supplied before renaming is carried out.

(g) Demolitions

Where a building is demolished then the existing numbering sequence is retained and reused as far as possible in any new development.

(h) Houseboats

Houseboats moored in marinas, or other moorings with official addresses, will be addressed with the name of the houseboat and then the address of the moorings. Boats which are moored in locations without an official address may still apply for an official address, but will need to provide evidence of how they are accessed and where the postal delivery point is (for example a letterbox on  a gate on the nearest road). Where there is no postal delivery point, the Council can still register an official address, but Royal Mail may not give it a post code or add it to their postal address file (PAF).

If a houseboat changes its mooring, it should apply to have its address re-registered at the new mooring.




3. Entry into Local Land and Property Gazetteer and Local Street Gazetteer

Addresses are entered in the LLPG in accordance with BS7666, the current data entry conventions and data transfer format published by the GeoPlace. Changes are normally submitted to the national hub daily.

Streets are entered into the Local Street Gazetteer in accordance with BS7666, legislation from Department of Transport and the data entry conventions and data transfer format published by the GeoPlace. Changes are submitted to the national hub at least monthly, which is the frequency prescribed by legislation.

4. Data Protection and Records Retention Policy

Personal data collected as part of the application process is kept for one year after the case is complete or one year after the submitted date of occupation, whichever is the later. After this, the data will be deleted in compliance with GDPR. Where the occupation of a property is later than originally indicated, applicants are encouraged to notify the Council of the revised occupation date.

Final letters or notices giving formal confirmation of address, site plans showing the numbering scheme for new developments and statutory notices of street names will be kept permanently in electronic form.

Paper copies of statutory notices and orders for street names and the associated plans will be passed to Bath Records Office as a matter of public record. All paperwork containing personal details will be destroyed.

November 2018


Download these Street Naming and Numbering Guidelines in PDF format 35kb

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