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Street naming and numbering explained

We are responsible for issuing official geographic addresses for all residential and business premises in the area

The rules and guidelines we follow

The appropriate naming of streets, and the naming and numbering of buildings in streets, forms the basis for identifying property related information. This is important for:

  • enabling effective responses to emergencies by ambulance, police, and fire services
  • the delivery of post by the Royal Mail and courier services
  • record keeping, for example, for legal transactions and billing

It's important that the use of street names and numbers are:

  • appropriate
  • logical
  • consistent; and
  • clearly displayed

You have a legal obligation to display your house number.

We address properties to the street they have direct access to (this is generally the street that the front door of the property faces). The street that the front door of the property faces. Every street is assigned to the appropriate village or town to create a geographic address.

We'll only consider the renaming/renumbering of existing streets and buildings if they pose a risk to the ability of the emergency services to locate a property. Also, if changes will resolve any problems with postal services and deliveries.

We aim to make any changes in harmony with the parish/ward/town council and the residents. This means that occasionally the numbering schemes will be reviewed or introduced.

We are reminded by the Department of Transport circular 3/93 to review and maintain logical numbering schemes. It's for this reason that we will on occasions adopt the spirit of the act by Section 21 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907.

Statutory context

We are the street naming and numbering authority for the administrative area covered by this council.

By law, we must formally approve all proposals for new street names and changes to street names before they are brought into use.

We also have the legal powers to number properties. And we ensure names for properties are appropriate where numbering schemes exist or not.

The principle piece of legislation that we apply to the street naming and numbering is:

This legislation allows us to display every street name in a very easy to see position on any house, building or erection in or near the street. It's for this reason we use the Department of Transport Circular 3/93. The public are not allowed to interfere with these street name plates. They must be kept clear in all directions up to 12 inches (approximately 300mm).

For a street definition please see:

Royal Mail and Postcode queries

For postcode information always use the Royal Mail's Postcode Finder website. Royal Mail own postcodes and post towns they allocate them to create their postal addresses.

Find your official geographic property address

You can search the FindMyAddress website to find out your official address.

Please note, whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of your address, we can't always guarantee this. We are however continually improving our data to ensure its accuracy.

If you spot a problem with our address data (for example, incorrect coordinates, postcode or a spelling issue) then please let us know. Please provide as much detail as possible as this will help us investigate the issue more thoroughly. Please note; postcodes are issued and dealt with by Royal Mail. However we can update or change those seen via the FindMyAddress website which is our data.

If you think you've found an anomaly, please contact the Address Management Team.

How to put an address on an envelope

The suggested format on how to put an address on your envelope if you live in Norfolk.

Who do we notify?

Once the naming and numbering has been agreed, we will notify the following organisations of your chosen house name:

  • Norfolk Constabulary
  • East of England Ambulance NHS Trust
  • Norfolk Fire Service
  • Royal Mail
  • Ordnance Survey
  • Valuation Office Agency via Revenues
  • Norfolk County Council

We will also notify our own council departments, where relevant.

Informing organisations of your address change

If you're moving, the 'I am Moving' website will help you to inform various companies of your new address quickly and efficiently. You'll also need to inform our Council Tax department if you're a resident, or business rates department if it's a commercial move. Or if it's an address change, rather than a move, please complete the form found on the 'new, change or verify your property address' page.

You may wish to inform the following of your move or new property address:

  • family and friends
  • people you do business with
  • doctor surgery, medical services
  • finance (Bank, Building Society, credit cards)
  • insurance companies
  • HM Land Registry
  • utilities (gas, electricity, water)
  • DVLA
  • employer
  • TV License
  • passport
  • telecommunications companies / mobile companies
  • broadband services
  • memberships

Our Address Management Policy

To find out more about street name and numbering and our Address Management Team responsibilities please view our Address Management Policy.