Street naming and building numbers in Belfast
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 homeowners 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
- An occupier of the street who is registered on the electoral role, an elected member who represents that District Electoral Area or a developer can request a dual language street sign.
- When we receive an application request for a dual language sign, this will undergo an initial assessment before being considered for a survey of occupants registered on the electoral roll.
- If 15 per cent or more 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.
- If an occupier does not respond to our survey, the non-reply will not be considered to be against the application.
- 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 monthly council meeting we will arrange to have a sign manufactured and erected.
How to apply for a dual language street sign
You can apply online for a dual language street sign. Applications received before 9 September 2022 are currently being processed. You don't need to re-apply.
Apply for a dual language street sign (link opens in new window)
Alternatively, you can request and return completed application forms:
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.