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Ordnance Survey’s most detailed addressing to underpin Thames regeneration


Ordnance Survey’s most detailed geographic address information, OS MasterMap Address Layer 2, is supporting sustainable development plans for a large part of the Thames Gateway.

Planners at Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation – the strategic development control authority for the Borough of Thurrock – have begun using the information to ensure effective public consultation.

Address Layer 2 is specifically designed to be managed as a fully integrated database. Nationally, it includes geographic references and classifications of millions of postal addresses, multi-occupancy addresses and non-addressable properties.

Thurrock Thames already uses Ordnance Survey address data to support mailshots informing occupiers of public exhibitions on strategic plans; now Address Layer 2 will enable even better targeting.

"We are particularly interested in multi-occupancy addresses and those without a postal address to ensure consultation documents are targeted in the most optimal way to residents,” says James Bompas, Technical Officer at Thurrock Thames.

Under the public consultation, around 30,000 people across Thurrock are being asked to complete questionnaires on local area “master plans” covering Purfleet, Lakeside, West Thurrock, Grays town centre, Aveley, South Ockendon and Tilbury. The aim is to build the feedback into a comprehensive framework for the sustainable growth and regeneration of the borough. The “Local Development Framework” will in time become the statutory plan for the area.

To build and maintain Address Layer 2, Ordnance Survey field surveyors across the country add high-resolution geographic references to around 27 million postal addresses. Ordnance Survey uses on-the-ground GPS survey, aerial imagery and various other techniques to establish precise coordinates for each address and match this to the property on the map – effectively joining up postal and topographic geography, creating a fixed link between the property and its address.

In addition, the layer includes a new Royal Mail dataset of multiple residences, which provides complete address details of flats and apartments without individual postal delivery points. These are supplied with the reference details of their parent delivery address, enabling easy identification of all properties receiving utility and other non-postal services.

More than a million properties that do not have postal addresses have been included. Among them are utilities plant, community halls, churches and public conveniences. Their locations are vital for emergency response, civil contingency planning, risk assessment, asset insurance, planning, customer services and maintenance.

“Addresses are subject to a high level of change from redevelopments and house or street name changes,” says Ordnance Survey’s senior product manager for addressing, Cara Reed. “OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 is ideal for carrying out public consultations as it is the most accurate and up-to-date link between every property address and its location on the map.”


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