Absolutely they can. There are amazing examples of community-led housing, such as, locally, Transition Homes in Totnes, the Broadhempston Community Land Trust housing scheme and the community housing scheme in East Portlemouth.
In terms of something on the scale of ambition of Atmos Totnes, possibly the best example in the UK is Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) in London. CSCB redeveloped the Oxo Tower Wharf, Gabriel's Wharf, Bernie Spain Gardens and set up four housing co-operatives.
The housing co-operatives are housed in new buildings commissioned by CSCB. In 2007, CSCB occupied new offices at the Coin Street neighbourhood centre, also designed by Haworth Tompkins. As well as offices the building includes a day nursery and crèche, conference and meeting facilities. CSCB also offers a variety of community programmes for people of all ages including youth clubs, sports and dance sessions and family and children's activities.
The entire development is in community ownership.
It wasn't to start with! But the Atmos Totnes process, led by Totnes Community Developers, is what made this site viable and therefore, on paper, more attractive to commercial agents and developers. We obviously did a good job!
Yes. The Atmos Totnes Process has achieved Planning Permission for the site through a Made Community Right to Build Order, which was won through a thorough and innovative community consultation process leading to a referendum.
A phasing plan has been drawn up and the design team have all the technical design, engineering drawings and supply chain ready to start building in accordance with the strict licensing and phasing that exists on the site.