Role and responsibilities of the SNN Officer

The SNN Officer is the first point of contact in a local authority for:

  • the allocation of house numbers or names and street names to new developments and property conversions
  • the re-naming and re-numbering of properties and streets where they deem necessary.

It is the responsibility of the SNN Officer to:

  • accept applications for the naming and renaming of streets and properties
  • validate applications in line with the local authority’s time scales and policies
  • confirm the correct legislation is being used
  • consult in accordance with the local authority’s governance process
  • use the correct decision making processes
  • document decisions in accordance with the local authority’s governance process
  • inform the Authority Address/Street Custodian and other interested parties of all new or changed street names, building numbers or names.

This role is essential to ensure that the processes are followed in accordance with the adopted policy.

Delegated authority may have been given to the SNN Officer to make decisions in relation to SNN applications in accordance with the local authority’s constitution.

For more details about delegated powers within the SNN Role see:
Delegated Powers within the Role of SNN

The diagram below shows the lifecycle of a development or individual property and indicates the important position in the process that SNN function plays between permission for the development being approved and the occupation of the premises. 

diagram of property life cycle

The SNN Officer will need to liaise with many other roles across the authority to ensure that streets are named and properties are numbered in a timely manner. From the lifecycle diagram above it is clear that the SNN Officer will need to liaise with the following:

  • Planning team – to be aware of allocations in the Local Plan and decisions on applications that will require new street names and numbers allocated
  • Building Control Officers - for commencement and completion information about development
  • Royal Mail – allocation of postcodes
  • Council Tax/NNDR services – to ensure taxes are collected for new properties

It is also very important that the SNN Officer has a close working relationship with the Authority Address Custodian (AAC) who maintains the authority’s Local Land and Property Gazetteer.

The roles of the SNN Officer and AAC are sometimes combined but it is more likely that the SNN Officer role is part of the Planning, Building Control or Highways teams. Either way it is essential that the roles work closely together. This will ensure consistency in quality of addressing and that the National Address Gazetteer is maintained to meet high standards.

The National Address Gazetteer contains the unique identifiers and the definitive street name and number (generated by local authorities) with the postcode from the Royal Mail as well as a link to the map base from Ordnance Survey. This forms a product suite called the AddressBase range of products which is used widely across central and local government, emergency services and also across the private sector.