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Street naming and numbering

Street naming and numbering guidance

About this guidance

We are legally responsible for naming streets and numbering properties.  
This guidance outlines the standards we use to allocate addresses in line with our legal responsibilities, and to manage them through the lifespan of a property.  
It explains: 

  1. Background information about street naming
  2. The legal background
  3. Our policies
  4. Our procedure 
  5. Who to contact about street nameplates and postcodes

1. Background information about street naming

Streets that are appropriately named and numbered make life easier for postal workers, emergency services and everyone else who has to find an address quickly. 
In new developments, people moving in, mortgage providers and gas, phone and electricity companies need postal addresses as early as possible so it's important to create addresses as quickly as possible after the building warrant has been granted. 
Street names also contribute to the character of an area and of North Lanarkshire as a whole. 
We take all of this into account when we need to name, number, or rename and renumber, streets and properties. We also seek, and take account of, the views of the people who are affected by street naming and numbering. 
We work closely with Royal Mail, so that they can quickly provide new postcodes or changed postcodes. 
Developers will often choose a marketing name for a development to publicise it before statutory addresses are allocated. The longer it takes to decide statutory addresses the greater the local confusion.

We aim to complete the process of issuing new street names and numbers within eight weeks of receiving a valid application form and fee.

2. The legal background

In drawing up these procedures we have taken account of:

  • BS7666 standard for addresses and current legislation
  • Our commitment to produce and maintain a corporate address gazetteer. This in turn feeds into the national Property Gazetteer in Scotland. 

 We are responsible under Section 97 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (as amended) for naming streets and numbering properties.  
The Act states that a local authority may, in relation to any road in their area: 

  • give such name to it as they think fit 
  • after advertising in a newspaper circulating in their area any proposal to alter its name and taking into account any representations thereupon made to them within 28 days after the date of the first publication of the advertisement, alter any such name 
  • affix, paint or mark its name on any premises, fence, lamp post, pole or other structure in it so as to be readily legible to members of the public there, and erect poles or other structures there for that purpose 
  • give each of the premises in it such distinguishing number as they think fit  
  • alter that number when necessary; and require the owner of each of the premises, by notice served on him, to affix or paint that number on his premises so that it is readily legible from the nearest part of the public place giving access to the premises

3. Our policies

This section outlines our guidance for:

  1. Naming streets
  2. Numbering properties
  3. House names
  4. Renaming properties
  5. Renumbering streets 

1. Naming streets

In general our policy is to name new streets after people, places or events  associated with North Lanarkshire. A street name should meet one of the following criteria.  
It should:

  • commemorate local history, places, events or culture, especially if these have a connection to the site
  • honour and commemorate noteworthy people associated with the local area, or with North Lanarkshire
  • celebrate cultural diversity in North Lanarkshire
  • commemorate people who are noteworthy nationally and internationally
  • commemorate national and international events
  • take into account the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 and give consideration to gaelic and scots origins of place names 
  • strengthen neighbourhood identity
  • recognise native wildlife, flora, fauna or natural features related to the community or to North Lanarkshire 

 Street names we prefer to avoid: 

  • duplicating an existing street name within the wider area (decided according to local circumstances)
  • similar sounding names such as Parker Street or Barker Street 
  • the same name being repeated, but with different endings (for example, Well Street, Well Lane, Well Road and so on)
  • names of people who are alive or who have recently died
  • using someone’s first name, unless this is needed to avoid duplication or confusion
  • abbreviations, except for St  for Saint 
  • punctuation, including commas, apostrophes, full stops, hyphens and slashes within a street or property name unless this is absolutely necessary. For example, we would allow punctuation that forms part of a name such as O’Neill; but we would avoid apostrophes to indicate possession in names such as Queens Meadow and Kings Close

Special considerations for street name endings: 

  • Pedestrian walkways should end with: Walk, Path, Way, Close, Pend, Wynd or Lane 
  • Endings that have specific meanings should reflect the streets they name.  For example: Avenue or Grove: roads where we consider trees to be a feature
  • Circus: a roundabout
  • Crescent: crescent-shaped roads
  • Green or Gardens: streets dominated by an area of grass or park  Hill, Brae, Heights, Knowe, Mount and Rise: a street on a slope or on a hill
  • Lane, Close, Grove, Place or Court: small streets and cul-de-sacs  Square: used generally for properties forming a square
  • Terrace or Row: a street mainly along a terrace of houses
  • Wynd: small streets or paths that are not straight. 

2. Numbering properties

We establish where the street begins closest to the town centre. Numbering begins at that point. In adjoining streets numbering begins at the point where it joins the main street. The general rule is to have odd numbers on the left and even ones on the right. However, consecutive house numbers are sometimes possible: in other words, the first house on the left is Number 1, the second is Number 2 and so on, in a clockwise direction. Examples of this are a cul-de-sac or a street that is unlikely ever to be extended or made a through road. Some numbers may be left out of a sequence if this might be needed for a future development. We do not avoid numbers such as 13 that some people may feel have significance.

3. House names

Any address that we produce and supply is a statutory address. We will not add a house name to a statutory address.

Where a house has not been numbered, for example an historic property that is known by its name rather than a street number, its name is part of its statutory address.

In these circumstances, if someone wants to alter the name in some way they must contact us. Where a house name is already part of a statutory address and requires to be altered, we will amend our records and tell Royal Mail and other interested parties, such as the emergency services, gas, water and electricity providers and Lanarkshire Valuation Joint Board. 
We have the right not to use any name anyone might find offensive or alarming.

4. Our guidance on renaming streets

Only in exceptional circumstances will we a consider request, for example from community groups, developers, or members of the public, to rename a street. 
We may propose renaming a street in circumstances such as:

  • an area that is going to be substantially redeveloped
  • an existing name that is unpopular
  • the street’s name has been causing confusion 

If we agree to rename a street we always strive to minimise changes to addresses, while taking on board the views of those affected by the changes. If community groups, developers or members of the public do apply to rename a street, they need to provide us with the case for renaming the street and a summary of the opinion of a majority of residents. 

The new name they propose must be in line with our guidance for naming new streets. 

If we agree to consider renaming a street, we will consult with people whose  properties are in the street. The proposal has to be advertised in a local newspaper and people can submit their views on the proposal within 28 days of the  Advertisement being published.  We will take account of all the views we receive  before finally deciding on the proposal.  If we agree to rename the street, we will advise interested parties of our decision and the reasons for the decision. There will be a gap of at least eight weeks before the new name takes legal effect.

5. Our guidance on renumbering properties

We may need to renumber streets if new properties are built or if we become aware of an issue that affected existing addresses. An example of this would be properties on a stretch of road that had changed significantly and been renamed because of a new development. We would have to change the existing properties’ addresses to reflect the new street and postcodes. We always aim to provide clear, unambiguous addresses, so will try to find alternatives to renumbering.

If changes are needed we will always seek to have people’s agreement, and to minimise inconvenience. Any changes to numbering schemes must follow our policy for numbering new developments. We will consult everyone affected by the change and give people at least 28 days to give us their views. If renumbering goes ahead, we will advise interested parties of our decision and the reasons for the decision. There will be at least an eight week gap before new numbers take legal effect. 

4. Our procedures

When we receive an application and fee for new street names and numbers, and where applicable the building warrant is approved, we will:

  • For new street names, consult with elected members from the ward. If no objections are received within 14 days, we will name the street accordingly.
  • Prepare a numbered plan.
  • Inform Royal Mail and ask that postcodes be allocated.
  • When we get the new postcodes we will issue the statutory address and inform all relevant parties, such as emergency services.

When we receive an application and fee to rename a street, we will:

  • Consult with developers, community groups and elected members for the ward.
  • Draft a report to the appropriate Committee seeking approval for the new name to be consulted on and permission to go ahead with a public consultation.
  • Hold a public consultation for a minimum of 28 days.
  • Where there are no objections a senior council officer will approve or reject the proposal.
  • Where there are objections the Committee will approve or reject the proposal.
  • We will notify everyone affected and allow eight weeks for the new addresses to be created and to take legal effect.

When we receive an application to renumber properties, we will:

  • Consult with the property owners and occupiers, allowing at least 28 days for people to send us their views.
  • A senior council officer will review any comments given and accept or reject the proposal.
  • We will notify everyone affected and allow eight weeks for the new addresses to be created and to take legal effect.

5. Who to contact about street nameplates and postcodes

Street nameplates are maintained by our roads team who can be contacted at  

Postcodes are allocated by Royal Mail who can be contacted at 

Page last updated:
14 Feb 2023

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