Street Naming and Numbering (SNN) is, by definition, the act of naming of streets and numbering properties. 

This may sound like a simple task but it can actually be quite complex - from legislation to policy to BS 7666 standards. Hopefully this page will give you some more insight into the process and why we name and number the way we do.

Why is Street Naming and Numbering important?

The primary purpose of SNN is to create addresses which are logical and consistent. This enables:

  • Emergency and care services to find a property quick
  • 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.

Who is responsible for allocating addresses?

Hertsmere Borough Council has a statutory responsibility to ensure that every street is named and every property is numbered.

It should be noted that Royal Mail has no statutory responsibilities or powers to either name a street or to name, number, rename or renumber a property. Royal Mail has sole responsibility for assigning a postcode following liaison and notification of new or amended address details by Hertsmere Borough Council. Please see the Royal Mail Code of Practice

Legislation, Policy and BS 7666 standards

Let's start with legislation. The SNN function is carried out under the provision of the following acts:

Section 17 - Notice to urban authority before street is named - Public Health Act 1925

Notice to urban authority before street is named. (1) Before any street is given a name, notice of the proposed name shall be sent to the urban
authority by the person proposing to name the

Section 18 - Alteration of Street Name Public Health Act 1925

Alteration of name of street. — (1) The urban authority by order may alter the name of any street, or part of a street, or may assign a name to any street, or part of a street, to which a name has not been given.

Section 19 - Indication of name of street - Public Health Act 1925

Indication of name of street. — (1)  The urban authority shall cause the name of every street to be painted, or otherwise marked, in a conspicuous position on any house, building or erection in or near the street, and shall from time to time alter or renew such inscription of the name of any street, if and when the name of the street is altered or the inscription becomes illegible.

Numbering and Re-Numbering of Buildings - Sections 64 and 65 of the Town Improvement Clauses Act 1847

Houses to be numbered and streets named. The commissioners shall from time to time cause the houses and buildings in all or any of the streets to be marked with numbers as they think fit, and shall cause to be put up or painted on a conspicuous part of some house, building, or place, at or near each end, corner, or entrance of every such street, the name by which such street is to be known; and every person who destroys, pulls down, or defaces any such number or name, or puts up any number or name different from the number or name put up by the commissioners, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding [£25] for every such offence.

This gives us the power to approve or reject property addresses submitted by developers or owners, or prescribe its own addressing scheme.

This legislation along with the guidance set out in Geoplace Data Entry Conventions and Best Practice for addresses” DEC- Addresses Version 3.4 which an implementation of BS 7666:2006 forms the basis of our policy.

The DEC is a reference manual written by Geoplace* which provides guidance for creating or changing Street Names or property numbers. It also provides guidance on the British Standard BS7666-0:2006, BS 7666-1:2006 and BS 7666-2:2006.

BS7666:2006 is one of around 27,000 British Standards.  BS7666:2006 refers specifically to the standards for geographical referencing. It comprises of parts one to five. This factsheet by Geoplace outlines the use of BS 7666 within local authority land, property and gazetteers as well as the overall benefits of the Standard to local government.

We have taken all of the relevant legislation, guidance and standards mentioned above and put them into one document which we call The Street Naming and Numbering Policy. This policy should act as guidance for developers and property owners when considering the submission of a Street Naming and Numbering application.

*GeoPlace® LLP is a public sector limited liability partnership between the Local Government Association and Ordnance Survey and is responsible for compiling and maintaining GeoHub as the unification of all the core address and streets datasets GeoPlace maintain. GeoHub is a system that provides a single source for all addressing and street data requirements. GeoPlace’s role is to work with local authorities and other organisations to create and maintain GeoHub and the National Street Gazetteer (NSG for England and Wales), providing definitive sources of publicly-owned spatial address and street data. Ordnance Survey markets a range of address and street products delivered from GeoHub.

What will happen if I do not follow the formal Street Naming and Numbering process?

Properties registered via the SNN process are recorded in a database called the LLPG (Local Land and Property Gazetteer), which is maintained by the LLPG Custodian and relevant SNN Officers at the council. Updates from the LLPG are sent to the NLPG (National Land and Local Gazetteer) where the addresses are collated and combined with other data sources to create a single source of address data. Public sector services such as fire and police then use these data as a means of locating people in an emergency.

If your property is not registered you may encounter difficulties in obtaining services from a variety of sources – from mail delivery,  to utilities connections, applying for a credit card, obtaining goods by mail order, being located by the emergency services. It could even affect the sale of your property.

If it comes to our attention that names and numbers have been established without prior reference to us, we have the authority to issue Renaming or Renumbering Orders, under Section 64 of the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847. This allows us to allocate new property names and/or numbers as we see fit. Once these have been issued, there will be no right of appeal.