East Devon District Council

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Policy Street name and numbering policy

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5. Criteria for naming streets

The Street Name and Numbering team will use these guidelines when agreeing a new number or address. Developers and Town and Parish Councils should follow these guidelines for any suggested street names:

  • New street names should try to avoid duplicating any similar name already in use in a town/village or in the same postcode area. A variation in the terminal word, for example, "street", "road", "avenue", will not be accepted as sufficient reason to duplicate a name. A common request is to repeat existing names in a new street or building title (for example a request for a street called Church Close or a block of flats called Church Court off an existing street called Church Way). This is not allowed as it can have a detrimental effect in an emergency situation. This is in line with Government guidance found in circular 3/93.
  • Street names should not be difficult to pronounce, awkward to spell or open to interpretation by shortening or graffiti in any way.
  • Names which can be considered or construed as obscene, racist or which would contravene any aspect of the Council’s Equal Opportunities Policy will be rejected.
  • New names will not be assigned where developments can satisfactorily be included in the existing numbering scheme of the street providing access
  • We will not adopt any unofficial ‘marketing’ titles used by developers in the sale of new properties.
  • All street names and addresses must meet the standards set out in BS7666

All new street names should ideally end with one of the following suffixes:

Street (for any thoroughfare)

Road (for any thoroughfare)

Way (for major roads)

Avenue (for residential roads)

Drive (for residential roads)

Grove (for residential roads)

Lane (for residential roads)

Gardens (for residential roads) subject to there being no confusion with any local open space

Place (for residential roads)

Crescent (for a crescent shaped road)

Court/Close (for a cul-de-sac only)

Square (for a square only)

Hill (for a hillside road only)

Circus (for a large roundabout)

Vale (for residential roads)

Rise (for residential roads)

Row (for residential roads)

Wharf (for residential roads)

Mews (for residential roads)


Single or dual names without suffixes are acceptable in appropriate places (for example, Broadway for major roads only) such names will have to get Parish/Town Council approval and be appropriate for the locality.

All new pedestrian ways should end with one of the following suffixes:




For private houses it is sufficient that the name should not repeat the name of the road or that of any other house or building in the same locality, see 'Procedure for Address Changes' below.

The use of North, East, South or West (as in Alfred Road North and Alfred Road South, or East or West) is only acceptable where the road is continuous and passes over a major junction. It is not acceptable when the road is in two separate parts with no vehicular access between the two.

We will avoid having two phonetically similar names within a postal area and, if possible, within a borough. For example, Alfred Road and Alfred Close or Churchill Road and Birch Hill Road.

The use of a name which relates to someone either living or alive during living memory can be used as long as written permission has been obtained from the person or family of the person (this is to help avoid upsetting living relatives).

If the name relates to a public figure, we recommend that the Town or Parish Council announce the intention to use the name in the local press to assist with consultation. If there are objections to a proposed name, another name should be submitted. If no other suggestions are made a decision will be made by EDDC in line with their current procedure.

The use of names that pertain to the Royal Household should be avoided, as to use such a name may require Royal Assent from the Privy Council.

The use of tree names should be avoided mainly due to the duplication of many existing streets already named within East Devon. We will only do this if those requesting them show that such confusion is not likely to take place and that the tree name has local relevance. This includes all names based on "Orchard".