Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Report on the draft Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Master Plan

Earlier this year we undertook stage two of public consultation on the draft master plan for the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and the Domain.

The consultation process included public exhibitions, surveys, focus groups, on-site and online communications that shared the principles and proposals of the draft master plan, and gathered feedback and submissions for further consideration or revision.

This is the first time a master plan had been developed for the Garden and Domain after nearly 200 years of existence. The draft master plan provided a wide-range of proposals that aim to create a sustainable future for these vital public spaces.

The brief for the master plan concepts was to ensure the exceptional heritage, scientific and cultural aspects of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and Domain are maintained or enhanced for public enjoyment, education and recreation. It also emphasises the Royal Botanic Garden’s core values of horticulture and science.

With the above principles in mind, all master plan concepts will be subjected to rigorous conservation, environmental, heritage and archaeological assessment and analysis before any projects are approved and finalised.

The draft master plan is a long-term project. We have engaged with stakeholders and visitors on an ongoing basis over the past 10 years to gather together a significant body of information on issues and aspirations.

Following the second stage of public consultation, we have commissioned a full report on the process to improve and move forward on this project in 2015.

A small number of proposals attracted a mixed and passionate response, and we were equally delighted that many of the concepts in the draft master plan were broadly supported. This feedback will now be used to improve many proposals.

The report analysed key project milestones, the communications process, the consultation mechanisms, and the content of feedback received.

The report has uncovered a number of recommendations that will help us to deliver the final master plan in 2015.

You can read the report in full here


The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust appointed Cox Richardson Architects to develop the first-ever Master Plan for the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and the Domain in April 2013. Cox Richardson has assembled an extensive team to develop the plan including Grant and Associates for the landscape architecture, Godden Mackay Logan for the conservation management and MI Associates for the financial and implementation strategies. 

Following an extensive consultation period with a wide ranging group of neighbours and stakeholders and a literature review of current site planning and policy documents, the Cox Richardson team convened workshops with stakeholders, staff and Trustees during the second half of 2013 to develop the draft concepts of the Master Plan.

The draft Master Plan concepts were subsequently placed on public exhibition for review and comment, in conjunction with an online survey open to the public, from Sunday 6 April through to Saturday 31 May 2014. Public review and comment on the draft Master Plan comments has now closed and the Master Planning team is reviewing and analysing the submissions as a component of finalising the Master Plan.

It is anticipated that the final Master Plan will be completed in mid-2015.

 Master Plan

(pdf file, 12 pages)

View Master Plan animation

Royal-Botanic-Garden Farm Cove

Rose Garden