Appendix T1 - Australian Defence Force Academy and Royal Military College Duntroon Master Plan

Detailed Conditions Of Planning, Design And Development


This Master Plan has been prepared to guide the future planning, design and development of the Royal Military College (RMC) and the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) as military training establishments.

The Site

RMC and ADFA are located approximately 3.5 kilometres south-east of the Canberra city centre. The two facilities share a common boundary and together occupy a total area of approximately 231 hectares.

The site is surrounded by Mount Pleasant to the north-east and separated from the suburbs of Campbell and the Russell offices to the west by a bushland ridge which forms a physical barrier. To the north-east is open land used for grazing. Canberra Airport is located to the east and the Molonglo River and Jerrabomberra Wetlands are located to the south of the site.

The ADFA campus occupies approximately 52 hectares of land, with a further 54 hectares located north-east of Fairbairn Avenue comprised of playing fields and grazing land. The current ADFA campus was designed and planned in the early 1980s, as the primary tertiary institution for the Australian Defence Force and was officially opened on 11 December 1986.

RMC comprises a site area of approximately 125 hectares. RMC provides military training for all potential Army General Service Officers (GSO). RMC also undertakes the military component of training for army cadets at ADFA. The original homestead was constructed on site in 1833 and the College, Duntroon, as it was then known, was established in 1911.

Vision and objectives

RMC and ADFA will continue to provide premier academic and military facilities and meet the academic and military training needs for the Australian Defence Force for the foreseeable future.

Both Institutions represent a vital element of Canberra's role as the national capital and are included as Designated Areas of the National Capital Plan. RMC is the only Army officer training facility in Australia, and, given its historical significance, sense of tradition and heritage character, is an important representation of Army presence in the national capital. ADFA is the centre for tertiary education for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and educates approximately 30% of all Officer cadets within the tri-services of the ADF.

Objectives in achieving the Master Plan vision are:

  • To encourage shared use facilities, located centrally to both ADFA and RMC;
  • To achieve greater efficiency and increased flexibility in buildings and infrastructure to reflect changing uses;
  • To consolidate housing within existing residential areas;
  • To maintain and enhance sporting and recreational facilities to meet ADFA and RMC needs; and
  • To conserve and manage significant natural, cultural and Indigenous heritage values.

Guiding Principles

The site is located within the Central National Area and a high quality of planning and development should be achieved within a design context appropriate to its location.

Planning for RMC and ADFA is to be based on an integrated and sustainable approach to future use and development of both sites. Improved integration between the two sites and greater opportunities for shared use of facilities are expected outcomes.

The Master Plan is to facilitate upgrading domestic, academic and recreational facilities to ensure that they meet contemporary military and academic training needs and comply with current access, health and safety standards.

The urban design values of RMC and ADFA are to be recognised, protected and enhanced as an integral component of future development. In particular, the urban composition that incorporates the Headquarters Building, Morshead Drive and the Fairbairn Avenue Entry (the 'Gun Gates') is to be recognised for its significance to the urban character of RMC.

Development is intended to occur in a manner consistent with the principles of water sensitive urban design incorporating integration of stormwater treatment into the landscape, protection of water quality (particularly in relation to the Molonglo River and its tributaries), and reduction of run-off and peak flows.


The Constraints Map (Figure 1) provides a context for the Master Plan and describes the primary planning issues to be considered with respect to development of the site. Significant constraints are illustrated on the Constraints Map (Figure 1) and are described below.

Environmental constraints

Several areas of vegetation and potential fauna habitats listed under Australian Government environment legislation occur on site. These include:

  • White Box - Yellow Box - Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland (including Leucochrysum albicans var. tricolor (Hoary Sunray);
  • Natural temperate Grassland of the Southern Tablelands of NSW and the Australian Capital Territory, including habitat for several threatened fauna species).

The RMC Duntroon Conservation Area is listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List. Individual buildings or locations within the RMC Duntroon Conservation Area are also listed individually on the Commonwealth Heritage List. These include Duntroon House and Garden, Changi Chapel and the ANZAC Chapel of St Paul, Parade Ground and Associated Buildings Group, and individual residences and sheds.

Airport generated constraints

The northern portion of ADFA is affected by constraints generated by its proximity to Canberra International Airport, including:

  • Areas of high aircraft generated noise (High Noise Corridor) - residential development and other noise sensitive land uses would be restricted in this area; and
  • The Airport Obstacle Limitation Surface (AOLS) - height limitations apply to all forms of development within areas affected by this constraint.
 Constraints Plan

Figure 1: Constraints Plan

Development guidelines

1. Land use

  1. The Master Plan drawing (Figure 2) divides the site into zones that correspond to primary purposes within the overall function of the facility as a military training and academic institution. Likely land uses which are permissible within each zone are listed in Table 1.
 Zone Map

Figure 2: Zone Map

Table 1: Permissible likely uses within Precincts
Precinct Primary purpose Permissible likely uses
Operational Support Precinct The provide areas for buildings or infrastructure for personnel supporting key capability functions. This precinct is intended to provide facilities for a Defence Installation and Scientific Research Establishment.
Base Support Precinct To provide areas for activities associated with the general occupation and function of an establishment or facility, without adversely affecting operational or operational support activities. This precinct is intended to provide facilities for a Defence Installation. Support activities that would be appropriate for this precinct would include Community Facility, Community Protection Facility, Child Care Centre, Indoor Recreation Facility, Outdoor Recreation Facility and Personal Services Establishment.
Domestic Precinct To provide areas for activities associated with the domestic functions of an establishment or facility, without adversely affecting operational, operational support or base support activities. This precinct is intended to provide Residential and Social/Community Facilities.
Open Space Precinct To provide buffers between incompatible internal and external activities; to enable conservation and/or enhancement of land with significant environmental values; and to avoid land being targeted for future development on land that is unsuitable for such purposes. This precinct is intended to provide facilities for a Defence Installation (training and recreation equipment), Landscape Buffer and Open Space.
Future Development Precinct To identify larger parcels of developable land that can facilitate the future expansion of activities within the base or establishment. This precinct applies to uncommitted land and is to be retained for the future uses of the Defence Installation.
  1. New developments with potential to provide services, recreational or community facilities to both ADFA and RMC should generally be located within the vicinity of General Bridges Drive.
  2. Priority should be given to land uses which strongly relate to the academic and military training functions of the sites.

2. Urban design, building height and setback

  1. New buildings, site works and landscape treatment shall complement and enhance the existing facilities with special emphasis on three areas:
    • The RMC Duntroon Conservation Area;
    • The Main Entry to RMC Duntroon from Morshead Drive ('The Badge Gates'); and
    • The Entry from Fairbairn Avenue ('The Gun Gates').
  2. All new work in the RMC Duntroon Conservation Area is to be consistent with the existing character in scale and by use of materials, treatment of facades and landscape works.
  3. A limit of three storeys applies to all new buildings at RMC and four storeys at ADFA to maintain consistent scale of built form and protect the amenity of neighbouring buildings.
  4. New residential buildings (excluding Live In Accommodation (LIA)) shall be a maximum of two storeys in height. New residential buildings should generally be consistent with the height of existing residential development and be designed to protect the amenity of neighbouring buildings.
  5. Where the development site abuts an existing dwelling or LIA, sufficient spatial separation should be provided to ensure the development does not adversely impact on residential amenity.
  6. The siting and location of new development should be compatible with external land uses and set back 20 metres from arterial roads (Morshead Drive and Fairbairn Avenue) to provide a landscape buffer.

3. Landscape

  1. A landscape structure is to be devised which adds to the legibility of the site by reinforcing the identity of each precinct, establishing pedestrian links and a hierarchy of vehicle circulation.
  2. The open area of land along the ridgeline adjacent to General Bridges Drive will remain as a landscape buffer between RMC and ADFA. No buildings shall be constructed within this zone.
  3. Strong vegetative screening is to be maintained along Morshead Drive adjacent to the Operational Support Zone.
  4. Landscape treatment of the perimeter areas is to be compatible with the adjacent land use, the adjacent road and the quality and character of the existing landscape. The perimeter landscape treatment must be a minimum of 20 metres wide, measured from the road verge (except where constrained by existing conditions).
  5. The landscape treatment and the urban design elements (portals, etc) of the Main Entry ('The Badge Gates') to RMC should reflect the formal, prestigious role of the College. The planting of the entry avenue is to be of a formal, deciduous character, similar to the RMC Duntroon Conservation Area.
  6. The Fairbairn Avenue ('The Gun Gates') entry, from Fairbairn Avenue to the RMC Duntroon Conservation Area (Robert Campbell Road) shall be planted with Eucalypts to create a link to the rural surrounds and to retain views beneath the canopy to ADFA.
  7. At the junction of the entry avenue and the RMC Duntroon Conservation Area emphasis is to be given to the change in landscape character. Beyond this point the road verge planting is to be continued in deciduous trees and the character of the spaces formalised.

4. Car parking, access and movement

  1. All car parking demand generated by day to day activities shall be accommodated within the confines of RMC and ADFA. Any parking that is displaced by new development is to be replaced elsewhere on the site.
  2. Car parking should be designed and sited to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vehicles, including buses.
  3. Developments should be integrated with the internal pedestrian network and provide safe and convenient access for pedestrians.
  4. Development should ensure access is maintained to key sites along General Bridges Drive including the Duntroon Health Centre and General Bridges' Grave.
  5. Car parking is to be provided in small lots, well screened and landscaped.

5. Architectural character

  1. The architectural character and quality of all buildings should be of a consistently high standard and should seek consistency in terms of scale, materials, colours, finishes and detail.
  2. Perimeter development shall be of a consistent architectural character and quality, befitting the national significance of the site and the Approach Routes to the national capital.
  3. Within the Operational Support Precinct, large stores and workshop buildings should be designed so as to limit their bulk and visual intrusion by, for example, articulation with recessed elements and varied setbacks.
  4. The articulation, material and colour of buildings shall be sympathetic to the heritage values of any adjacent heritage listed place.

6. Royal Military College Duntroon main entrance

  1. Portal entry structures ('Badge Gates') shall be retained to mark formal entry to the college from Morshead Drive.
  2. New buildings shall be located symmetrically of the avenue axis. Building character, materials and massing should be consistent with the character of the Parade Ground buildings.
  3. Strong formal avenue planting shall be established with a visual link to the round-about. Screening of residential and logistics complex from avenues is required.

7. Lighting

  1. All outdoor lighting, including security and car park lighting, shall be designed and sited to minimise light pollution. Outdoor lighting shall use full cut-off light fittings. New building faÁade lighting installations shall use full cutoff fittings that are carefully integrated into the building's structure.

Appendix T2 - York Park Master Plan

1. Preamble

The development of York Park and environs is primarily to accommodate prestigious offices requiring proximity to Parliament House. York Park occupies a prominent site in the Central National Area and contributes to the urban form and landscape features which give the National Capital its special character and setting. It forms part of the backdrop and approaches to Parliament House and an edge to the Parliamentary Triangle at Kings Avenue. York Park has a key role in the daily functions of government, provides sites for the headquarters of major national associations and plays an international role in receiving visiting officials and dignitaries. Consequently, it is necessary that development of York Park and its public domain should achieve design excellence of a high order.

'York Park' is the gazetted name of the areas contained within Sections 1 and 15 Barton and Section 29 Forrest (named after commemorative tree plantings by HRH the Duke of York in 1927), however for the purposes of the Master Plan, 'York Park' refers also to the environs beyond these Sections, and includes all of the area between National Circuit, Canberra Avenue, State Circle and Kings Avenue.

The primary ordering structure of the Central National Area, of which York Park and its main avenues are integral components, is Walter Burley Griffin's formally adopted Plan for Canberra. It is fundamental to this Master Plan that development respects the geometry and symbolic intent of the Griffin Plan, particularly the vistas to and from Parliament House and the connections to national institutions, monuments and landscape spaces in and around the Parliamentary Zone. The different streetscapes associated with the three major Avenues (Kings Avenue, Brisbane Avenue, Sydney Avenue) and State Circle need to be recognised and reinforced.

The Central National Area is identified as a Designated Area of the National Capital Plan (the Plan). Therefore, York Park is subject to the principles and policies of the Plan for the Central National Area, in particular, section 1.4: Detailed Conditions of Planning, Design and Development . Consequently the urban design criteria of the Master Plan have been formulated on the basis of these Conditions. These include aspirations for a high quality of urban design and architecture. Principles of environmental sustainability will also be applied in the assessment of new developments.

To protect the integrity of views to and from Parliament House, development is generally limited to a maximum height of RL 591m. A general plot ratio control such as that in Appendix H - Design and Siting Conditions, will not be used as a means of controlling development intensity for the Master Plan area. Density Controls will be established in development guidelines for individual sites. The density of sites will be determined by height control, setbacks, parking provision and environmental performance standards such as sun access and provision of landscaped internal courts. Specific height and setback controls will be provided for individual sites prior to land release or design development. (Refer: 4. Development Approval)

The principles and policies that follow should be read in conjunction with the York Park Indicative Development Plan and Indicative Development Sections at Figures 1-4.

2. Principles

  1. The York Park area should be developed primarily as a prestigious office area and landscape setting to satisfy demand for office accommodation requiring proximity to Parliament House.
  2. The urban structure and character of York Park should reflect the geometry and intent of the Griffin Plan, and provide a legible hierarchy of streets and public spaces.
  3. Architectural excellence is essential for development in York Park, commensurate with its location adjacent to Parliament House.
  4. High quality landscape design is essential for the development of York Park as a prestigious setting for national capital uses and offices.
  5. The landscape design of streets, pedestrian paths and open spaces of York Park are to consist of a range of formal and informal spaces that reinforce the Griffin geometry and contribute to the landscape setting of Parliament House.
  6. The public domain of York Park should provide for places for local recreation with a high level of pedestrian amenity.
  7. Individual buildings should contribute to the coherent definition of streets, blocks and public spaces, forming the public domain of the Master Plan area, and contribute to the public domain's active pedestrian qualities.
  8. Less use of private transport and greater use of public transport should be encouraged, particularly for the journey to work, with more efficient use made of private transport.
  9. Safe and convenient movement systems for pedestrians and cyclists should be provided within the precinct.
  10. Significant natural and heritage values of the area should be identified and protected.

3. Policies

3.1 Land Use

  1. The primary land uses permitted in York Park are 'National Capital Use,' 'Offices' (which may include Commonwealth offices and offices for national associations), and Open Space.
  2. Limited retail and service outlets are permitted as ancillary uses to provide services to those employed in the immediate vicinity. Childcare facilities as ancillary uses are also permitted in the area.
  3. Commercial parking structures, if provided to meet parking supply in York Park, are to be located where identified on the Indicative Development Plan at Figure 1. Retail and personal service outlets may also be permitted in the ground level of the structures as ancillary small scale facilities.
  4. Retail and personal services outlets to serve the needs of those employed in the immediate vicinity should be provided at the street level of office and parking buildings in the location identified for a 'Retail Plaza' on the Indicative Development Plans: Figures 1-4.
  5. Large spaces for recreation are to be provided at either end of Windsor Walk including a large space suitable for active recreation at the Canberra Avenue end of Windsor Walk.

3.2 Urban Design

  1. Buildings are to be sited parallel with the Avenues (Kings Avenue, Brisbane Avenue and Sydney Avenue), with National Circuit and State Circle, to provide definition to the geometry of the Griffin Plan with built form.
  2. Individual development proposals will be assessed on their merits in respect to the contribution made to the quality of the public domain - the streets, footpaths and open spaces of York Park - as a safe, attractive and pedestrian active environment.
  3. Surface carparks are inappropriate as foreground to the views from Parliament House and, to the extent they are permitted on a temporary basis, they are to be carefully screened with landscape.
  4. A building height limit of RL 591m generally applies throughout the area covered by the Master Plan. However, on Block 2 Section 1 Barton, buildings up to RL 602m, inclusive of plant and roof height, may be considered where they add visual interest to the skyline, are set back from the Main Avenue frontages, and ensure that Parliament House remains pre-eminent in views from elevated viewing points such as Mount Ainslie and from the eastern sector of the Molonglo Basin.
  5. As Parliament House is sited above York Park, the roofscapes of buildings warrant particular attention. Roof plant is to be carefully integrated and enclosed within the roof form. Minor roofscape elements will be permitted to extend above the RL 591m height limit, to an extent not exceeding that of the RG Casey building, to add visual interest to the skyline.
  6. Critical building lines have been established for the Main Avenues. Fifteen (15) metre setbacks are required for buildings facing Kings Avenue, ten (10) metre setbacks on Brisbane Avenue and six (6) metres on Sydney Avenue. Buildings on Block 2 Section 1 Barton that front Kings Avenue will require a greater set back than 15 metres to ensure protection of the oak tree plantation that is on the Commonwealth List of heritage places.
  7. Porte cocheres, drop off points and minor architectural elements, which articulate and enhance the building elevation, will be considered within front setback zones.
  8. On State Circle, a variable setback of a minimum of twenty (20) metres is to apply, to allow the buildings to merge visually and spatially with the informal character of the woodland landscape surrounding Capital Hill.
  9. All buildings on blocks with a frontage to Kings, Brisbane or Sydney Avenue should generally have a significant entry facing the Avenue.
  10. Services and service entries should be concealed from Main Avenues and pedestrian pathways. Basement carparks should be constructed below finished ground level and concealed from public streets and pedestrian areas.
  11. The number of vehicle crossings should be kept to a minimum, to enhance the amenity and safety of pedestrian paths.
  12. Windsor Walk is to be further developed and retained as landscaped open space.
  13. Multi storey parking structures are to be designed to minimise their visual and physical impacts on the important public streetscapes of the Main Avenues and Windsor Walk.
  14. A parking structure, if provided on the corner of Windsor Walk and Brisbane Avenue, shall be located behind a screen of habitable retail/office buildings with address frontages to Brisbane Avenue and Windsor Walk and integrated in design with the retail/office buildings.
  15. Particular attention shall be given to the design of roofing to parking structures to relieve the visual impact of large roof areas. A maximum height below RL 591m may apply to parking structures to relieve their visual and physical impact on the public domain.

3.3 Landscape

  1. The landscape setting of York Park will consist of a range of formal and informal spaces that reinforce the geometry of the Walter Burley Griffin Plan and contribute to the setting of Parliament House.
  2. Landscape design in York Park will be of a high quality, commensurate with the location adjacent to Parliament House and places of national significance within the Central National Area.
  3. The Main Avenues - Kings Avenue, Brisbane Avenue and Sydney Avenue - are to be treated as formal landscaped boulevards that emphasise the street hierarchy and geometry of the Griffin Plan with regular street tree plantings, high quality verges, pavements and streetscape furniture.
  4. Landscaping of frontages to State Circle will generally be informal, and similar in character to the native woodlands surrounding Parliament House, in order to visually connect York Park to Capital Hill and contribute to its landscape setting.
  5. Windsor Walk is to serve as a central linear park and continuous pedestrian spine connecting public car parks, office destinations, the proposed retail plaza and a variety of landscaped recreation areas. It is to provide spaces for active recreation as well as quiet outdoor places for workers to enjoy during the day. Nodes of intimate formal parks are to be developed as accents within an otherwise informal woodland character extending the length of the Walk. Larger spaces for recreation are to be provided at either end of Windsor Walk.
  6. High quality paving, lighting and bollards, integrated with soft landscape treatments, are required within site boundaries to complement the standards set and maintained in the public domain.
  7. The design of parking areas and arrival courts should incorporate generously scaled tree planting beds to provide shade and separation to parking bays. Quality streetscape furnishings and paving treatments are to be utilised to provide visual relief to surface carparks and vehicular areas within or adjacent to places characterised by higher levels of pedestrian use.
  8. Internal courtyards of office buildings should generally provide deep in-ground planting conditions and be of a dimension suitable for establishing large trees.
  9. Spaces in front of building lines are to be landscaped to reinforce the theme of York Park as prestigious buildings in a landscape setting.
  10. External security barriers, if required, such as bollards and retaining walls, should be designed as integral and attractive elements of the civic landscape of York Park.

3.4 Architecture

  1. The highest standards of architecture will be sought for all buildings in the precinct.
  2. Individual buildings should be aligned with and contribute to the coherent definition of streets, blocks and public spaces intended for the Master Plan area.
  3. High quality, prestigious and durable building materials are required to be used for all developments.
  4. Buildings shall be a minimum of 4 storeys on the Main Avenue frontages.
  5. New buildings should complement, but not necessarily imitate, the style, colour, form, scale and finishes of surrounding buildings.
  6. Unpainted or galvanised metal will not be permitted on roofs, parapets or fascias.
  7. Lift overruns, plant rooms and any roof mounted aerials, masts and dishes should be designed and sited to have a low visual impact when viewed from the street or Parliament House.
  8. External signage will be subject to the signs policies of the National Capital Plan.
  9. Floodlighting of buildings will be subject to on-site testing to ensure that brightness levels do not compete with Parliament House.
  10. Undercroft parking, that is, open parking basements projecting above ground level, will only be permitted where the Authority is satisfied that it does not limit the opportunity to create attractive landscape areas, and will generally not be permitted on public street frontages and Windsor Walk.

3.5 Transport and Parking

  1. Parking policies for the York Park area are designed to encourage greater use of public transport for the journey to work.
  2. An overall reduction in the total long-term car parking provision is proposed. This will be achieved by initially limiting the amount of on-site parking permitted in new developments.
  3. On-site car parking shall be provided, at a rate of 1 space per 100 square metres of gross floor area, for new offices approved in the York Park area. A higher on-site and/or off-site provision may be required by the Authority in specific cases, after taking into account the relationship between on-site parking, off-site parking opportunities and the capacity of public transport in the area.
  4. Surface car parks on unleased land will be progressively replaced by strategically located multi-level parking structures and/or underground parking areas. Supplementary car parking in temporary surface car parks may be provided pending the development of these parking facilities.
  5. If for specific sites the Authority determines that the amount of parking to be provided should be above the minimum on-site amount specified in (c) above, this additional parking may be provided either on-site, or by way of a contribution to the Territory Government for off-site provision of that parking in the locality, or by a combination of these methods.
  6. Parking for non-office uses will be provided at rates consistent with the standards of the Territory Government.

3.6 Pedestrian Movement

  1. Windsor Walk will be constructed and landscaped to form the main pedestrian spine through York Park.
  2. Cycle ways and pedestrian paths will be provided to enable safe and convenient movement and should connect to major peripheral paths.
  3. Pedestrian safety and visual amenity should be secured through traffic calming and appropriate streetscape design.
  4. New development should provide a positive address to pedestrian areas, to provide visual interest, activity and passive surveillance. Blank facades and exposed service areas should generally be avoided.
  5. Opportunities for linking pedestrian networks of York Park with surrounding areas such as the trail system in