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Our Environment: Special Edition - Charleston Update

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

First Charleston Neighbourhood Improvement Plan

Charleston Neighbourhood Improvement Plan The name Charleston is derived from the combination of Charles Street and Grafton Street, which intersect close to the centre of the neighbourhood. The naming of Charleston followed the formation of a neighbourhood group initially set up to fight industrial expansion in the area.

Afterwards, Charleston was one of the City’s first urban renewal areas, initiated through the government’s Comprehensive Housing Improvement Programme (CHIP) in 1979. The scheme introduced a comprehensive approach to urban renewal, attempting to improve the quality of older residential areas close to city centres. Two areas in Christchurch - Avon Loop and Charleston were approved before the CHIP scheme was abandoned in 1983.

Development of these areas included features such as ‘slow street’ treatments, new or upgraded local parks and street landscaping, home improvement advisory services and community logos.

An information booklet was produced for the Charleston area and given to each household, outlining guidelines for improvements to streetscape elements such as buildings, colour schemes, planting and fences.

The advisory service helped with plans for alterations to houses and general advice. A number of property owners took the opportunity to improve the appearance of their properties through the CHIP. The Charleston Neighbourhood Plan is designed to build on some of this work and look at new opportunities to improve the area.

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