Agenda item

Review of Street Naming & Numbering Policy (Agenda Item 7)

Report of Executive Member Growth, Gordon Bambridge.


The Executive Member Growth presented the report and explained that the Policy was reviewed every two years.  He explained the key points and said that the aim was to seek better collaboration with Town and Parish Councils by getting them to provide a list of their preferred names for future developments which could then be made available to the Developers at an early stage.


It was confirmed that none of the changes would be retrospective; they would apply to new addresses only.


Councillor Bowes asked if the changes were due to an EU Directive.  She was advised that the advice was national and based on best practice.


Councillor Stasiak asked if there was currently a problem with street names.  He did not see any need to change and thought that it was good to use people’s names in recognition of good works they had done in the community.

The Executive Director Place explained that issues had been raised by the emergency services.  The small changes proposed would address those issues and the proposal to collaborate with the Town & Parish Councils would also address the tensions that sometimes occurred between them and developers.


Councillor Joel asked who had responsibility for cleaning street signs and why a request for a sign giving the street name and saying ‘leading to’ another street name had been refused.


The Executive Member for Growth did not know why the request had been refused as such signs were provided in some places.  He said he would look into the matter.  With regard to street sign cleaning he believed that Norfolk County Council Rangers were responsible for that.  Members should ask their Parish Clerks to notify them where necessary.


Councillor Crawford thought that the parish input should be strengthened because currently the Council could only refuse a Developer’s suggested street name if it was invalid.  He also asked who was responsible for repairing broken signs.  He was advised that Serco was responsible for repairing street signs on behalf of the Council


The Chairman reiterated that parishes should provide a list of their preferred names and plan ahead to be pro-active.  Only three parishes had done so, so far.


Councillor M Chapman-Allen asked how parishes would be notified early enough to provide input.  She did not think they could provide suggested names until they knew which land was being developed.


The Executive Director Place said the aim was to encourage Town & Parish Councils and Developers to reach agreement.  Developers had to have the street names early in the development to provide infrastructure.  Therefore parishes needed to provide a pre-populated list regardless of where the development might be.


The Breckland Place Manager informed Members that the feedback from the emergency services was that having a number of properties in the same area with similar names caused issues and they had asked the Council to avoid that if possible.


Councillor Darby was aware that a number of new developments were causing confusion by numbering new houses off the development estate on which they were built giving rise to properties being addressed on roads which run at the back of their properties.


The Spatial Information Manager agreed that it did cause problems and it would be avoided if future if possible.  Generally all properties were addressed on the street that they faced.


Councillor R Richmond said the system worked well.  One of his parishes had provided a list and they had been involved.  However, the problem arose when the Developer would not accept the suggested names.  He asked if the parish proposals would be superseded in that situation.


The Executive Director Place confirmed that the Council could not overturn the Developer’s request if a compliant name was put forward otherwise they could challenge it through the Courts.


Councillor Bowes was still concerned about the loss of local identity and the fact that parishes were being discouraged from using local people’s names, as they could provide important historical context.

It was confirmed that it was still acceptable to put a surname forward for use as a street name. 


Councillor Stasiak said that being able to use a surname overcame his objection to the Policy.  He also thought it was a good idea for parishes to prepare a list.


The Chairman proposed an additional recommendation that all Parishes be consulted and asked to provide a list of preferred names for future developments.  Members supported that suggestion.


Councillor Brame thought that the adjoining parishes should be able to put forward suggested names as well for developments close to parish boundaries and for large developments such as the Thetford Sustainable Urban Extension.

The Executive Director Place agreed that in such cases lists from all parishes in the area would be considered.  If the parishes provided a list the Council would encourage Developers to use those names.




(1)  The proposed amendments to the existing Street Naming and Numbering Policy be accepted and the new version (July 2016) be adopted; and

(2)  All parish councils be contacted and requested to provide a list of proposed names for future developments in their area.


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