HOMEOWNERS who want to name their property could have to fork out £100 for the privilege.

Under plans outlined in a North Wiltshire District Council report the charge for naming a house could be brought in next month.

The scheme, which would raise £25,000 a year for the council, has been branded "disgusting" by homeowners but district council boss Carol O'Gorman insisted it was about improving revenue and would mainly impact on developers, not private homeowners.

Peter and Gaye Webb, both 50, have named their Cepen Park home Spiders Rest and have included the Welsh translation Gorffwys-y-Copyn underneath the plush sign attached proudly next to their front door. Mr Webb said they wanted to choose a name personal to them, with the link between spiders' webs and their surname, as well as his Welsh roots.

The two school teachers said they would not have been happy about paying £100 to the council for having their home named.

"If they are doing it to make money it seems a little bit bizarre," Mr Webb said.

Barbara Smith, 69, of Hill Corner Road, Chippenham, and her husband Alan, named their home Moonrakers.

She said: "I think the idea of charging is ridiculous. A house is a private thing.

"We brought our name with us when we moved but I don't know whether we would pay £100. I would have to think about it. That's quite a shock.

"If it was April 1 I would think it was an April Fool's joke.

"We like our name and we've always had it, for nearly 50 years since we got married."

They chose the name after a traditional Wiltshire legend about men pretending to steal the moon from a pond.

Caroline Sweet, an artist from Hill Corner Road, Chippenham, whose house is called Corner Cottage, said: "I think that's disgusting to charge people."

Cllr O'Gorman said the charges would mainly apply to developers building new estates that need house numbers and street names.

She said: "We are not a bottomless pit. We are about providing public services and we have to look at our assets continually.

"It's about improving our revenue to provide better services for the public."

Sally Canter, customer focus team leader at the district council, said the charge would only apply if homeowners want to change the name of their house officially, when parish councils and Royal Mail would have to be informed.

"Sometimes people just choose to change the name of their house anyway but if they wanted to do it officially that's when it would apply," she said.

According to the report, due to be discussed last night, the charges would cover administration costs and would also apply to naming streets and numbering houses. If residents request a street to be renamed they would have to pay £250.