Street naming and building numbering
We are responsible for the naming of streets and numbering of properties in Belfast. Developers, architects and estate agents can apply to us to name new streets. It's important that naming and numbering of streets is carried out at an early stage in a new development so that the new home owners have the correct address when they move in. When the streets are officially named and numbered, we tell all relevant organisations.
When do I need to make an application for a new street?
You need to make an application to us when the development starts on site if there will be a new public road leading into the development.
Who makes the application to Building Control?
The application for a new street can be made by the developer, architect, builder, housing association or (on very rare occasions) residents living in an unnamed street.
What documentation is required for a valid application for a new street name?
You need to complete an application form giving a first, second and third choice for the street names. You should provide the reason for the proposed names, for example a link to the local history or geography of the area. You will also need to provide:
- two site location maps which can be either A4 or A3 size indicating the start and end of the road.
- two site layout maps showing the arrangement of the houses and their site numbers (these are numbers for the buildings on site and are not the property numbers), and
- if the development contains apartments, their internal layout showing the entrances, floor levels and site numbers.
When a request and initial survey of 1/3 of residents for dual language signs is received, we will carry out a survey of residents registered on the electoral roll. If more than 2/3 of occupants within a street or road wish to have a dual language sign, it will be included on our report to the council’s People and Communities Committee recommending it for approval.
If the request for a dual language sign is approved by the People and Communities Committee it is then put forward for approval by the full council. When the request is approved, Building Control will arrange to have a sign manufactured and erected.
Maintaining street signs
When a street is created in a new development, the new street name signs are provided by the property developer to council specifications. The council will then take responsibility for maintaining the street name signs.
Street signs and dual-language signage
To request a dual language sign please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 028 9027 0650.
Why do we number buildings?
Building numbering affects everyday life in our city. Building numbering, as well as street naming, have to be provided by law and, when made correctly, provide an easy method for identifying places for people who live here and also for visitors and people who work in the city. They also assist the easy identification of premises by emergency services, postal services and utility providers.
How are buildings numbered?
Individual properties built on plots of land or existing buildings converted into new units will be numbered into the existing relevant street. If there is not a sequential number available, the council will use the addition of letters (for example 2a). We will notify you of the numbering allocation we choose for your property.
Properties (including those on corner sites) are numbered according to the street in which the main entrance is located. We will not manipulate the numbering of a building to give it a ‘prestige’ address or to avoid an address which is thought to have undesired associations.
Apartments are numbered not lettered, for example Flat 2, 21 Smith Street (NOT Flat A, 21 Smith Street), as letters are used for infill properties.
The council has no powers to name a house or building. Building names alone are not favoured by the council or the emergency services; a number readily identifies the relative location of a property in the street.
Where a property has a number, it must be used and displayed. Normally it should be placed so that it can be easily read from the public highway.