Open National Address Dataset (PAF and Ordinance Survey Address)

Technical issue resolved

This data request has been included in the work ODUG is undertaking on a National Address Dataset. For further information, please see

Data request description: 
The Postcode Address File (PAF) is a database which contains all known "Delivery Points" and postcodes in the United Kingdom. Buildings which contain several flats or businesses but only one external front door, will only have the external front door listed; the full addresses which include flat numbers, floors etc., are excluded from the PAF. This address is used as a routing instruction by Royal Mail staff to sort and deliver mail quickly and accurately. The PAF is a collection of over 29 million Royal Mail postal addresses and UK postcodes. It includes Small User Residential, Small User Organisation and Large User Organisation details.
There are financial charges for the data
I just found the pricing for one data set for addresses in the UK at £175,000. As a start-up, we can not afford this sort of investment. However, as a network of all the buildings on the planet (Honest Buildings has been called the "LinkedIn" for property by Forbes magazine), accurate and up to date addresses are absolutely essential to our business and product (
Suggested use: 
Business Use
Honest Buildings has a profile for every building with an address. Addresses and post-codes in the UK have created significant problems for us as a business and our users, as addresses and postcodes in the UK are particularly difficult to keep up to date and accurate because there is no robust publicly available data set for all postcodes and addresses. We would update all our building profiles to have accurate addresses, which is fundamental for our business, so that building owners, occupiers and service providers can make property decisions more efficiently thus enabling buildings to perform better and more quickly than ever before.
Benefits overview: 
By having accurate addresses and postcodes, the users of our open data base can connect, engage and find the best buildings and the best professional firms to make buildings across the UK perform better environmentally, socially and financially.


PAF / National Address Register

I am pleased to say that progress is being made on putting the argument to release this very important data. There is going to be widespread collaboration in establishing the full business case for making a National Address Dataset open.

In order to achieve this we need as many estimates of the economic growth, or savings, that proposed applications will generate and a good explanation of why that is not possble under the current licensing regime. Our aim is to find a way of funding a National Address Dataset which is sustainable in the long term, and allows the data to be used without charge. We are also keen to ensure that the specification of the dataset meets as many needs as possible so a good description of what needs to be addressed for particular applications, as has been done in this submission, will be very helpful.

Address datasets and address referenced or cross referencing datasets have attracted the largest single group of requests. It will be helpful to ODUG (Open Data User Group) if these requests with specific details that will help our business case continue to be submitted.


Robert Barr

Address lead on ODUG

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