Robin Thomas and James Ruse Reserves Masterplan
The Masterplan was adopted by Council August 2018 and has been revised to accommodate the proposed Parramatta Light Rail route. It makes recommendations for the entire site, including building use, condition and placement as well as the surrounding parkland, sports fields and recreation and community facilities.
The park is valued as a retreat and recreation opportunity for an increasingly urbanised community. It offers experiences not available within smaller parks, further strengthened by it’s connection to the Parramatta River corridor. Retaining and developing these values relies on a significant portion of the park remaining unstructured. At the same time, there is clear community demand for improved landscape quality, flexible park facilities, aesthetic, ecological and amenity values.
Robin Thomas Reserve Facilities
Robin Thomas and James Ruse Reserves currently provide amenity and recreational space to the east of Parramatta CBD. The reserves form part of a group of open spaces with Queens Wharf Reserve in the north and Harris Park in the south. Hambledon Cottage and Experiment Farm create additional amenity in the area, to the south east and south respectively.
Whilst this master plan focuses on Robin Thomas and James Ruse Reserves, the visual and physical connections to these other green spaces and attractions are essential in providing users with seamless access to the wider green infrastructure network, as identified in the 2012 Parramatta City Centre Public Domain Framework Plan.
The Reserves currently provide a number of active recreation and sporting facilities, including a cricket pitch, soccer fields, a skate bowl, a children’s playground, water play zone and an amenities building.
Robin Thomas Reserve contains popular sporting fields used extensively by local schools and clubs on week nights and weekends, and increasingly by CBD workers for lunchtime sport. However, with forthcoming development and the expansion of high density, mixed use buildings spreading east from the existing CBD, demands for recreational open space, age groups, and use of the park will likely change.