Council bans 'unlucky' 13 for homes

First published in Business Daily

© Press Association 2011

HOUSE builders will no longer have the tricky task of selling number 13 to superstitious buyers after a local authority banned the reputedly unlucky address.

Durham County Councillors agreed to the decision, which will apply to new builds and conversions in existing streets, at a Cabinet meeting.

The authority has taken over the street name and numbering function from the former local borough and district councils, and has had to set out a fresh policy.

Other issues included an agreement not to name streets after living people, and a policy that street names should reflect local geography and history.

Dave Wilcox, Durham County Council's strategic highways manager, said: "Our new street naming and numbering policy is based on those used by the county's former district and borough councils, most of which specified that 13 would not be used in numbering schemes.

"This was primarily to reflect the concerns of housing developers who often struggle to sell homes located on plot 13.

"There have also been occasions in the past where the council has been asked to re-number a property as 12a rather than 13 by developers or homeowners."

Fear of the number 13 is an official phobia, named triskaidekaphobia, and has been linked to the ancient Persians, Viking myth and the Christian tradition as there were 13 diners at the Last Supper.

Some airlines do not have a 13th row, and certain hotels have no room 13; however, the number is considered lucky in Tibet and parts of Italy.

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