When you buy a house one of the first things you learn is the address. Without that vital bit of information you can't visit the property or look up it's location on a map. How the property got that address isn't really something you give much thought to. It just happens.
However when you buy a plot of land that's not the case. Occasionally there will be an existing property which will have an address, but normally this isn't the case. The sales listing will describe the location of the plot and try to show it on a map (not always as accurately as they could do!), but there won't be an address listed. This was the case with the plot we bought and so we found ourselves wondering, how do you get an address?
Thinking about the question more we came to realise we didn't even know what the address should be. Our entrance is from an unnamed - and unadopted - road so the usual format of "29 Acacia Ave" wouldn't work for our plot. Our property would need a name. So, how do you name a house?
While trying to decide on a name, we were struck by how hard it must be for parents to name children. The name matters. It's permanent. There were no obvious "rules" or conventions that we needed to follow which didn't help narrow things down. We started by looking at the physical site but every combination of the landscape that we came up sounded wrong. Many sounded like retirement homes. Some sounded far too pompous. We struggled for a several weeks and every time we thought we were getting close we found new reasons to discount our ideas. Finally, we settled on a name that we liked and had a meaning for us.
Now how do we get an address?
When you stop to consider the number of houses built every year, it should come as no surprise that there is a council department who's job is to handle such things. The Street Naming and Numbering Department (SNN). As our council is Perth & Kinross, their website provided the information we needed. As it turns out, you fill in a form, submit it and pay a fee (£46). What could be simpler?
We duly completed the form and emailed it to them in April 2017. Several days passed with no response so we decided we would hand the form to the council in person - surely the chances of them loosing a piece of paper were lower than them ignoring an email? One midweek afternoon Rosie was in town with her mum and so visited the council offices to hand in the form and pay the owed amount. Rosie takes up the story.
"After handing the form in at reception I was directed to the payment booths at the back of the building to provide payment. Once I had explained what I was trying to pay for I was rewarded with a blank look. The cashier started muttering and thumbing through pages of payments that could be made, helpfully suggesting several that were totally unrelated. Finally she settled on a payment of £31 exclaiming "this is the one!" I queried the amount with her but she was insistent that the payment due was only £31. After paying I was given a receipt and sent on my way"
Several weeks passed and we heard nothing beyond an email response to our email submission with an apology for the delay as the person who handles the requests was away! Deciding to follow up by phone, David called and was able to talk to someone who found the application and explained that it couldn't be processed as the wrong payment had been made. If we wanted to pay the £15 difference between the £46 fee and the £31 we had paid it could be processed! After explaining why we had paid the wrong amount he replied he wasn't surprised and would forward me to their new payment system and follow up via email once it was complete.
Shortly after paying the outstanding fee, we had an email requesting additional information. This we provided and waited for their response.
Finally in mid June 2017 we received a short email with the new address notification and instructions on what to do next.
Our house had a name and an address!