Street Naming and Numbering
Bedford Borough Council is responsible for street naming and
numbering for the Borough. The service, provided by the Street
Works Team, is essential to provide an efficient means of
locating and referencing properties for organisations, postal and
emergency services, and the general public.
Who Should Apply
- Individuals or developers building new
houses, apartments, commercial or industrial premises.
- Individuals or developers undertaking
conversions of residential, commercial or industrial premises which
will result in the creation of new properties or
- Any person wishing to change their
How to Apply
Anyone wishing to make an application should click here to
download our 2017 Street Naming and Numbering Application
Form in the first instance, then complete the
form and return it to Bedford Borough Council's Street Works
Team, along with location/site layout plans and a cheque (made
payable to Bedford Borough Council).
Street Naming and Numbering Guidance
The purpose of managing street and building
names and numbers is to ensure that the address of each property in
the borough is unique, unambiguous and logical. This will
facilitate the correct delivery of mail and enabling visitors,
especially public service personnel, to quickly locate the address
they seek and is particularly important for emergency health and
fire services where any delay caused by confusion over the address
could put lives at risk.
Approval and Registration of New and
Revised Addresses - If You Are an Owner or
Proposals to name or rename a new or existing
building or access-way should be submitted to the Council for
approval at least ten weeks before the premises are due to be
occupied. This is to allow for any necessary consultation with the
Post Office and Emergency Services.
Approval of proposals is not automatic and the
Council may require alternative names or changes to proposed
numbering to ensure compliance with policy guidelines. If you wish
to use your proposals to market the development, please ensure that
purchasers are aware of the approved address before completion. The
marketing name or numbers should not be included in any permanent
signage or official documentation.
If the proposal complies with this Guidance and
there are no objections from any organisations consulted, the new
address will be formally assigned and all relevant bodies
Approval and Registration of New
and Revised Addresses - If You Are a Tenant or
Please check with your landlord or vendor that
the address you have been given is approved and registered with the
Council’s, otherwise orders for goods or services may not be
accepted if the address and postcode are not recognised.
Approval and Registration of New and
Revised Addresses - The Naming of Streets and
Renaming existing streets that have occupied
buildings is generally avoided unless the benefits clearly outweigh
the disadvantages. In some instances it is necessary to rename a
street or part of a street due to development changes that may give
rise to problems for existing or new occupiers. For instance, where
a road has been split into two or more sections by traffic
management schemes or development and travelling the length of the
road is no longer possible, one section could be renamed to avoid
The Council does not maintain an "approved" list
of possible names. Names with a link to the history of the
locality, commemorating a former distinguished resident or someone
who was active in the community, are preferred. Names of people
still living should be avoided.
All new names for streets or buildings must
comply with the following criteria:-
The name should not duplicate, or be similar to,
an existing name or part of a name in the same Postal District or
locality. A variation in the terminal word ("Road", "Close",
"House" etc.) is not considered sufficient difference if the name
includes a word already in use locally. Care should also be taken
to avoid phonetically similar names in the same area (such as
"Churchill Road" and "Birch Hill Road").
The name should not be difficult to pronounce or
awkward to spell for the majority of the population, and should be
easy to understand over the telephone, particularly in an emergency
situation. Names of three syllables or less are generally
The name should not include words having
aesthetically unsuitable or offensive connotations for the general
public or a particular community, or be capable of deliberate
misinterpretation or double meaning.
The addition of "north", "south", "east" or
"west" to a name can only be approved in circumstances where a long
continuous road passes over a major junction. It is not acceptable
when the road is in two separate parts with no vehicle access
between the two. In these circumstances there should be two
Secondary names for a row of buildings within
an existing named road, where appropriate street numbers are
available, will not be approved.
New addresses, including those for existing
buildings converted into flats or brought back into use after being
unoccupied for a long period, must be registered with the Council,
otherwise they will not be recognised by Royal Mail and will not be
Royal Mail sell their postcode database (PAF)
widely, and various companies use this as an initial security
check, including Mail Order companies, Cable / Satellite TV,
British Telecom and the like. If you are not on this database,
these companies may not supply you.
A few developers / builders / owners neglect
to get addresses registered with the Council and this can mean that
tenants or purchasers move into their new flats without a proper
address, leading to anger or frustration when they are told that
their address "does not exist".
If a new address has been registered / agreed
with the Council, it will be submitted as soon as possible to the
Postcode Centre. It will then take one to two months before the
information is available on the postcode database and circulated to
Postcodes for agreed addresses can be obtained
using the Postcode Finder on the Royal Mail
website, which is updated frequently. If addresses have not
been agreed, purchasers / tenants should check with their vendor or
landlord and make sure that details have been sent to the Council
Reporting a Damaged Street
Please report the problem to the Council's
Highways Helpdesk by phoning 01234 718003 or by emailing
Please include the following information:-
- The location/name of the street nameplate.
- The Parish in which the street is located.
- Your name and contact details.
- The nature of the damage to the street nameplate.
Once reported, an officer will inspect the site to verify the
problem. Following a decision to replace the street nameplate, the
process may take up to three weeks to complete. Unfortunately, the
service only has a limited budget, and the replacement of street
nameplates may need to be prioritised in terms of greatest
Please remember that if the problem is not reported to us, we
will not know about it and the street
nameplate will not be replaced.