SAM 9 is located to the north east of the city centre and covers a short distance of River Road from No. 223 to No. 281, on the banks of the River Avon/Otakaro.
The predominant house type is the two storey villa dating from the early 1900s although there are a number of similarly aged single storey dwellings particularly in the western end of the SAM. There are a number of common elements present that draw the area together to create the high level of amenity.
These elements include the orientation of housing to face the river, with large bay windows; gardens that are open to the street, creating a strong visual link from the housing to the river; well vegetated sites and; mature trees along the river edge.
The majority of the houses in the SAM are clad in weatherboards and often have painted shingle gables and decorated eaves. The roofs are either painted corrugated metal or tile often with elaborate brick chimneys. Other building elements present include porches, terraces and verandas. When fences are present on the road boundary they match the houses in terms of materials and colour and are sufficiently see-through to maintain the connection between the buildings and the river.
Designing within this character
New buildings in SAM 9 should be designed to work with this character. When designing new buildings consideration should be given to the orientation of adjoining buildings and the distance they are set back from the front boundary. Strong simple forms for the overall building shape that are similar in scale and height to the existing buildings should be used.
A similar amount of surface texture and ornamentation should be used, but need not imitate the features of the existing buildings. Instead attention should be paid to how these features add to the character of the area, and how a current method might be used to achieve this. Consideration should also be given to the way that the existing buildings, and their windows, doors and verandas address the street.
The quality and style of landscaping is also important and care should be taken to be in keeping with the neighbourhood. Fences and walls can have quite an impact on the street scene. If a fence is required, choose the materials and the height of the fence carefully. Consider alternatives to fencing, such as hedges, as a way to continue the high level of vegetation in the SAM.
Additionally, the placement of garages in the front yard can be visually detrimental and should be avoided.
City Plan rules
SAM 9 is in a Living 1 zone in the City Plan. The Plan contains a set of rules that regulate the way sites can be developed. A modification has been made to the standard Living 1 rules, to acknowledge the area as having special qualities that should be retained. It is:
- Road setback (street scene) - road setback is the distance that a building must be set back from the front boundary. Buildings are required to be set back at least 8m in this SAM because of the impact that the proximity of buildings to the street has on the overall character of the street.
If you are considering altering a house in SAM 9, or building anew, and you need a resource consent, it is recommended that you seek advice from the Urban Design – Strategy and Planning Group, Christchurch City Council, before submitting your application.
Date: February 2002