This council wants to ban rude street names. Would you?
A Conservative council in Kent wants to ban new developments being given ‘aesthetically unsuitable’ street names.
Sevenoaks District Council is set to approve a new policy next week ordering road names cannot be ‘capable of misinterpretation’ and cannot be linked to former areas of industry in the town, for example Gasworks Road.
It comes after a gay couple complained ‘Bangays Way’ was offensive despite people living on the road voting to keep the name as a tribute to local gas fitter and parish councillor Frank Bangay.
Lots of local people think the new policy is ‘snobby’, with the council acting like the TV character Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances who insisted her name should be pronounced ‘bouquet’.
Graham Clarke, 45, said: ‘What about Mill Lane, do they want to get rid of that as well as it has a connection with the ‘working class’.
‘Sevenoaks is all very well-to-do and posh as so many bankers and city boys live here and commute into London, but who wants to live on Posho Avenue?’
Megan Warn, secretary of the Sevenoaks branch of the Labour Party, said: ‘This is just snobbish, really snobbish. It’s gentrification gone mad and it’s denying your links to the past rather than preserving them.’
Wildernesse Avenue in Sevenoaks is one of the most expensive streets to live on in Britain, with homes going from £2m up to around £5m.
The document due to be reviewed by the council says that road names ‘capable of misinterpretation like Hoare Road and Typple Avenue’ should be struck off any plans for new roads.
But Sevenoaks town councillor Tony Clayton, a Liberal Democrat, told local paper The Sevenoaks Chronicle that it was ‘ridiculous’ to ignore an area’s past. ‘Waterworks, gasworks, cemeteries, factories may not match the estate agent’s ideal plan for property prices to head ever higher, but they do give us a map of where our communities came from,’ he said.
A spokesman for Sevenoaks District Council said the policy aims to make sure road names are easily found by emergency services – so colloquial or informal names are not used for roads.
He said: ‘The draft policy aims to ensure the emergency services can quickly and efficiently locate an address to which they may be summoned while at the same time making sure road names do not cause offence to the local community.’