The purpose of this advice note is to provide guidance to developers and property owners on the naming and numbering of streets and buildings. Appropriate naming of streets, and naming and numbering of buildings form the basis for identifying property. This is also essential for the efficient functioning of postal and emergency services as well as for the convenience and safety of the general public.

Statutory context

Brighton & Hove City Council is the street naming and numbering authority for all proposals for new street names or changes of name and numbering or renumbering of properties in the city and must by law, be sent to the council for approval prior to being brought into use. The principal pieces of legislation that apply to the Naming and Numbering of Streets and Buildings in the City of Brighton and Hove are Sections 17 to 19 of the Public Health Act 1925 and Sections 64 and 65 of the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847.

Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) and National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG)

Brighton & Hove City Council is responsible for maintaining information relating to Brighton & Hove in both the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG), and National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG). Both the LLPG and the NLPG are updated in accordance with the British Standard 7666; “Spatial data-sets for geographical referencing”. 

General naming conventions

General naming conventions to consider are:

  • avoid aesthetically unsuitable names or names capable of deliberate misinterpretation
  • no street or building names should duplicate any or similar names already in use in the city or neighbouring areas. A variation in the terminal word, such as ‘street’, ‘road’, ‘avenue’, will not be accepted as sufficient reason to duplicate a name
  • street or Building names should not be awkward to pronounce or to spell

General numbering conventions

General numbering conventions to consider are:

  • no proposed addresses will be accepted without a number
  • a new street should be numbered with even numbers on one side and odd numbers on the other
  • no numbers will be omitted from a numbering sequence
  • flats to be numbered bottom to top and in a clockwise direction, if applicable
  • when flats are numbered internally they should be numbered not lettered, for example, Flat 2, 21 Smith Street, not Flat A, 21 Smith Street and not 21A Smith Street which might already be used by an adjoining building
  • infill properties and basement flats with their own entrance will be differentiated by adding a letter designation, such as 36A, 36B

The display of numbers

Arrangements must be made for the number to be marked clearly in a conspicuous position on the premises in accordance with the provisions of Section 19 of the Public Health Act 1925 which relates to the display of street names and numbers. In order to comply with these provisions there is an obligation to mark premises with the number allocated. It is recommended that any numerals used should be of a clear type, at least 60mm in height and be placed in a position, which can clearly be seen from the road.

When to apply

An application to Street Naming and Numbering can take up to 6 months for large developments. It is therefore advisable to consult the council at the earliest possible stage of a proposal, preferably before building work commences, and ideally before a name has been marketed or legal documentation drafted. If an application is submitted to the council at a late stage and is subsequently rejected, numerous problems can arise, especially if purchasers have bought properties marketed under an unapproved address. It is therefore advisable to be cautious in the use of an address for marketing purposes if the address has not been authorised. It should be pointed out in the literature distributed to prospective purchasers, for example, that marketing addresses are subject to approval and thus to possible change.

Brighton & Hove Council does not register house names as part of an official address nor does it change a house or building number due to its association with bad luck. Brighton & Hove City Council will register properties on the street from which they are accessed. All street naming proposals are sent to the Royal Mail for approval of suitability for delivery purposes and are also consulted on complex layouts. Brighton & Hove City Council is not responsible for issuing new postcodes. This is the responsibility of the Royal Mail. However Royal Mail will not issue a postcode for a new street or property until requested to do so by the council.