Character Areas (previously known as Special Amenity Areas or SAMs) are areas in residential neighbourhoods that are distinctive from their surroundings and are considered to have a character worthy of retention.
The Special Amenity Areas in the City Plan were reviewed as part of the District Plan Review process. The new Christchurch District Plan includes Character Area overlays in 15 Christchurch locations as well as in Lyttelton and Akaroa.
The Character overlays within Christchurch City have associated rules controlling works visible from the street or within the front yard setback and also where they involve changes to the building facades.
Within the Lyttelton and Akaroa Character Area overlays, a resource consent is needed for external additions, alterations or demolition, as well as the erection of new buildings and the relocation of buildings on to a site.
It is intended that guidelines for each of the Character Areas will be produced by the Council in due course.