In the following years, this group discussed detailed ideas with Dairy Crest about what could be done with the site and by February 2011 SHDC adopted their ‘Totnes Site Allocation Development Plan Document’. In March 2011 Dairy Crest declared they would begin a process to seek full market value and proceed to a full planning application for the site as a way of establishing a value.
By February 2012, when there appeared to have been no progress, Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston met with Dairy Crest to find out why. They informed her that attempts to sell the site on the open market had drawn a blank. They said that they now had an interest in ‘leaving a legacy’ in Totnes and by June had agreed to seriously review the Atmos Totnes plans and to come back to them with how they would want to move forward.
In July 2012 the Atmos project team formed the Totnes Community Development Society (TCDS). The Society, registered as an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community, is the legal entity which would take forward the Atmos Project.
On 25 September 2014 the project to establish the Community Right to Build Order (CRtBO) was formally launched. The announcement made by TCDS, Dairy Crest and McCarthy & Stone stated that the Society will follow the Community Right to Buy Order process and this would result in Dairy Crest selling the site to TCDS and the community of Totnes.
In October 2015 Dairy Crest and McCarthy & Stone signed off Regulation 14 Consultation Community Right to Build Order documentation. This was the first formal consultation required under the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012. Through November and December volunteers staffed the Atmos Hub every day of the week for nearly seven weeks answering questions about the design so that those visiting could have their say and submit a comment or an objection. In response to the feedback some changes were made to the design of the site.
In January 2016 McCarthy & Stone and Dairy Crest approved the revised master plan and by June SHDC declared the Community Right To Build Order met the basic conditions and should therefore progress to Independent Examination. By the summer the Independent Examiner’s report concluded that the Basic Conditions had been met and should proceed to referendum. In the four weeks prior to the referendum, information was made as accessible as possible regarding questions about the process, the designs and the Order. Directors and volunteers worked long hours in person and online to answer questions about the scheme so that every voter was fully informed.
Yes. TCDS is a development company that has undertaken extensive pre feasibility works to ensure the scheme the town needs is possible and viable. The community led model for what constitutes viability is clearly different to that of the conventional commercial development that people are most familiar with. It has been proven to work in other parts of the country, such as in the Coin Street Community Builders development in London.
In July 2017 Dairy Crest were still chasing McCarthy & Stone to sign new legal agreements and this prevarication continued until 2018 when it transpired that McCarthy & Stone had revised their development plans in the southwest region and withdrawn from the Atmos project.
In November solicitors issued termination of existing agreements to tidy up the contracts. TCDS requested that agreements remained in place until the exchange of contracts for sale. On 29 December Overage Agreement was agreed by Saputo and TCDS. Capital funding of £2.58M was approved by National Heritage Lottery Fund for the Brunel Building.
13 January 2020 TCDS confirm they are ready to exchange contracts.
17 January 2020 Saputo Solicitors notified Totnes Community Developers that Saputo had just exchanged contracts with another party for 1.35 million.
A behind the scenes deal with Fastglobe is brokered by Patrick Gillies, a land agent based in Totnes.
TCDS offices are broken into by Patrick Gillies who changes the locks.