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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.
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
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
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
In any of these cases, residents affected will be contacted and
their views taken into account. The council will then consult the
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
Medway Council's Street naming and numbering conventions (pdf
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.
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
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
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.
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