Go to navigation

House numbering and road naming

We are responsible for naming new roads and keeping a record of all existing road names in Medway.

To request a change or a new road name or number complete the street naming and numbering application form (pdf 1MB)

Changing a property name

If your property has a name and not a postal number and you wish to change the name, you have to obtain approval from the council. This is to ensure that there is not another property known by the same name in the same road or vicinity, as this can cause problems for the emergency services in locating the property.

Any request to change a property name should be put in writing to the council using the details at the foot of this page, stating your name, the present full address of the property and your new preferred house name.

If your preferred name is not acceptable after consulting with Royal Mail , the council will ask you for an alternative. Once your name is approved, you will be notified.

A fee is charged for this change to cover administration and postal charges as the council needs to let a lot of our consultees know of this change.

Adding a name to a property

If you have a postal number, a house name cannot be formally registered against your property. However, you are permitted to erect a name plaque on your property of your chosen name and include this on an informal basis within your address. You must however keep your postal number visible on your property and continue to quote it in all correspondence. 

You should notify the council of your chosen name so that the necessary checks can be undertaken with Royal Mail to ensure there is no duplicate name in the vicinity.

Unregistered addresses

If a property is not registered, the owner or occupier may experience problems in obtaining goods and services, such as applying for a credit card or goods bought by mail order. This usually occurs when a house has been built,  we have not been informed, and therefore cannot allocate an address for it.

The unregistered address will not appear on the Royal Mail's main database which is purchased by other organisations which may then assume that the property does not exist.

To search for your address on the Royal Mail's database, visit the Royal Mail's postcode finder.

Developing a single property or a small development

If you are a developer building a small development, you need to contact the street naming and numbering team as soon as you commence works on site. This will then allow plenty of time for your development to be registered and will help you with getting utility services installed at the appropriate time.

Developing a large estate

If you are a developer of a large estate, copies of the site layout drawing and location plans must be provided to the council's street naming and numbering team once you commence work on site. It can then process the naming of any new streets and the numbering of the properties without delay.

Any proposed street names will be consulted on with the Royal Mail and the emergency services, as well as the Parish Council if necessary. This process takes two weeks.

The street naming and numbering team aims to retain local history with regards to road names and therefore carries out research on development sites to ensure appropriate names are used. 

A naming and numbering schedule will be finalised and sent out to all relevant consultees, which should be used to inform all prospective buyers of their new property address.

Renaming or renumbering a road

On rare occasions, it becomes necessary to rename or renumber a street. This is usually only done as a last resort when: there is confusion over a street’s name and/or numbering; a group of residents is unhappy with the street name; new properties are built in a street and there is a need for other properties to be renumbered to accommodate the new properties; the number of properties in a street known only by their names is causing confusion for visitors, postal services or the emergency services.

In any of these cases, residents affected will be contacted and their views taken into account. The council will then consult the Royal Mail.

To change a street name, the council will ballot residents on the issue. At least a two-thirds of residents must be in favour of the change before the council takes action. This is a very time-consuming process and the council is only able to progress one such change at any time.

All costs associated with this procedure, including advertising costs in the press and on site, replacement street nameplates and the standard renaming fee, must be met by the people initiating the change. There may also be other charges for the council's services in managing the process.

A schedule of charges is available from the document below.

Download Medway Council's Street naming and numbering conventions (pdf 1.97MB)

Gaps in numbering

If there is a gap in numbering in the houses on your road, it is probably because, when the properties were built and subsequently numbered, consideration was given to the possibility of future development, such as houses in between an open space, a school playing field or a property that could develop further within its own grounds. Where this was the case, a gap in the numbering was made to allow for future development of additional properties.

Certificate of road naming and or numbering

A Certificate of street naming and numbering will be issued once an address(es) is confirmed.

Mail delivery

If you are having problems receiving your mail, check to see if you are using the correct address and postcode. If your address is being quoted correctly and you are still experiencing problems, then you should contact the delivery manager at your local Royal Mail sorting office.

If your mail is being misdirected and the problem relates to two properties having the same postal number or house name, then the council can look into it further to try and rectify the matter.

If post is being incorrectly put though your door, you should contact the relevant Royal Mail sorting office for your area and ask to speak with the delivery manager. If you are unsure of your postcode, visit the Royal Mail's postcode finder page or phone 08456 066 854.

However, if your query relates to a new property, you need to check that your property has been officially registered.

If you are receiving post at your home address which quotes a business name belonging to the previous owner, and if no business is being operated from your domestic property, please contact the council and it will write to the Royal Mail and its statutory consultees requesting that they delete reference to it from your property address.

Address changes

The Royal Mail occasionally makes changes to customers' addresses in order to maintain and improve the quality of the postal service. There is a Code of Practice for address changes which are designed to minimise the inconvenience to customers. The Royal Mail should write, or already have written to you about the change and will set up their sorting equipment to accept both the old and new address for a minimum period of 12 months.

Origins of road names

The council holds some records as to the origin of street names, although this is not an exhaustive list. If you would like to find out the origin of your street name, you could also contact your local library or Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre.

Charges

This is a chargeable service and a Street naming and numbering schedule of charges (pdf 276KB) is available.

Damaged or missing road signs

Report a problem with a road sign

It should take six to eight weeks to replace or repair it from the time we instruct our contractor.

The council is the Street Naming and Numbering Authority for the Medway area and it carries out this statutory duty under the provisions of the Town Improvement Clauses Act 1847.

Information about any changes to an address is sent to: public utilities, emergency services, the Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, and the District Valuation Office.

It will also be sent to relevant council services, such as: Council Tax, Land Charges, Electoral Registration, Building Control.