Service delivery relies on location information whether it is for the purpose of collecting tax to providing social care.

The importance of this has been recognised by Government in establishing the Geospatial Commission.

Address and street data are the identifiers of places and where people are - bringing location to life. They provide a common identifier to link data from a diverse range of systems and services to relate them to the same place, property, person, business, or service.

Address and street data held in a common standard can be used by government, local authorities, businesses and citizens to deliver better services. Good addressing of properties is very important as it enables:

  • Emergency and health care services to find a property quickly
  • Mail and goods to be delivered efficiently
  • Service connections by utilities companies
  • Occupiers to apply for a credit card, benefits, pensions or obtaining goods by mail order
  • Financial verification of addresses and fraud detection
  • Visitors to find where they want to go
  • Reliable delivery of services and products
  • Service provider records to be maintained and kept in an efficient manner
  • Digital processing of addresses without corrupting the data.

All City, District, London Borough, Metropolitan and Unitary authorities in England and Wales have statutory functions to name streets and allocate house numbers/names to new developments and property conversions. They also have powers to re-name roads and re-number/name properties. The functions and powers relating to Street Naming and Numbering (SNN) also allow local authorities to allocate house numbers or names and street names to new developments and property conversions; and re-name and re-number properties and streets where they consider necessary.

These SNN functions are derived from multiple historic Acts of Parliament, the first of which was enacted in 1847.

The responsibility for SNN within a local authority is mostly a delegated function. Historically, there has been little consistent and common documentation available to enable SNN officers to use best practice for the allocation of street names and property numbers and names.

GeoPlace have responsibility for collating and maintaining core national address and street data. GeoPlace have engaged with key stakeholders to produce this Code of Practice that sets out the practical steps to achieve good consistent addressing in England and Wales through the official SNN process.

There have been multiple Acts of Parliament since 1847 which provide the basis for Street Naming and Numbering (SNN) practices. However, there has been no Code of Practice or best practice guidance for Local Authorities to rely upon to promote good and consistent addressing.

This was recognised at the 2016 GeoPlace conference in London where several enthusiastically attended SNN practice sessions were held. This high level of interest endorsed support for GeoPlace to seek a review of the legal framework and resulted in the report ‘A 5-year action plan for good addressing’ being published in September 2018 on behalf of the Data Co-operation Agreement – Street Naming and Numbering –Practice Working Group (DCA-SNN-PWG). Part of this action plan recognised the need for a Code of Practice and recognised eight clear themes:

  • SNN Governance
  • Acts of Legislation
  • Charging
  • Consultation
  • Street Name Allocation
  • Property number/name allocation
  • Royal Mail postcode allocation
  • SNN allocation/notification

This Code of Practice is based around these themes.