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 Christchurch District Plan includes character area overlays in 15 Christchurch locations as well as one each for Lyttelton and Akaroa.

Christchurch suburban character area design guides

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.

Lyttelton and Akaroa character area design guides

Residential Character Areas are located in Akaroa and Lyttelton. The design guides identify the special qualities of these areas and corresponding design principles for anyone wishing to undertake development or make changes to properties within these Character Areas.

Within these areas resource consent is needed for external additions, alterations or demolition, as well as the erection of new buildings and the relocation of buildings onto a site. 

Chapter 14 Residential of the District Plan outlines the rules relating to Character Areas, or you can contact our Duty Planner for more information.