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 should 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)
- the internal layout showing the entrances, floor levels and site numbers (if the development contains apartments)
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. We take responsibility for maintaining the street name signs.
Dual language street signs
- When we receive a request for a dual language sign and an initial survey of one-third of residents, we will carry out a survey of residents registered on the electoral roll.
- If more than two-thirds of occupants within a street or road want to have a dual language sign, we will provide a report to the People and Communities Committee and recommend the proposal for approval.
- If the People and Communities Committee approve the request for a dual language street sign we will put it forward for approval at the monthly council meeting.
- If the request is approved at the council meeting, which is held monthly, we will arrange to have a sign manufactured and erected.
To request a dual language sign please email us at email@example.com or call us on 028 9027 0650.
Public consultation on dual language street signs policy
We are consulting the public on changes to the dual language street signs policy in Belfast. The public consultation is open until 28 February 2022.
New approach to dual language street signs
On 7 January 2021, we approved a new approach to dual language street signs.
Before the new policy can come into force, the next steps will be to:
- update the existing policy and procedures with the proposed changes
- screen this draft policy to find and address any potential issues around equality, good relations and rural needs
- bring the updated policy to committee for agreement
- begin a 12-week public consultation on the policy, once approved by committee
- analyse and consider the results of the public consultation
- finally, approve the updated policy
We have started working on these steps.
Applications for dual language street signs
If you have made a request or enquiry about the new policy by email, we will respond to you. However when the policy goes live, you will need to formally complete an application.
Once the policy is approved, we will publish how to submit a formal application. Keep checking this page for updates.
You still have the option to apply for a dual language street sign using the existing process, until the new process is in place. We will transfer, if necessary, any applications made under the existing process to the new process.
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, we 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 sites (a house or development which is built in the gap between previously erected properties).
We have no powers to name a house or building. We, together with the emergency services, do not favour building names alone; a number easily identifies the relative location of a property in the street and is favoured by us and the emergency services.
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.