Update on the proposed development of the ATMOS site, Totnes
South Hams District Council has now written to both the new owners of the former Dairy Crest site in Totnes, Fastglobe, and the Totnes Community Development Society, to tell them that the Community Right to Build Order approved in 2017, has now expired.
This means that the proposed development, which was approved by the Community Right to Build Order, cannot now go-ahead without a planning application.
In 2016 the Totnes Community Development Society submitted a draft Community Right to Build Order to South Hams District Council, to build a new community. The design included 62 affordable homes, an energy centre and other facilities on the Former Dairy Crest Site, known as Atmos.
A referendum was held and the order came into force on the 1 March 2017.
The planning order stated that the permitted development should begin within three years of the date of the order being approved.
This meant that a physical start on site was required before midnight on the 29 February 2020, or the Order would expire.
Totnes Community Development Society, had hoped that submitting a reserve matters application for appearance, landscaping, layout and scale, would stop the order from expiring. However, South Hams District Council has now confirmed that this is not the case.
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council Said: "To date no physical start on site has taken place. It is a real shame that this site has not come forward as a Community Development Site as was intended, and sadly this is beyond the Council's control.
"Community Right to Build Orders are outside of the normal planning process and in this respect an order is very different to a planning application. A Community Development Order is approved by a referendum and not by a planning committee.
"Now the order has expired, a planning application for the site would have to be made to us as the planning authority. If this happens we would have to consider how any new application sought to deliver the aims of the JLP policy on the site"
"The expectation for the site in the adopted Joint Local Plan still supports a mixed use development on the site, including sensitive design, respect for the setting of heritage assets and habitat enhancement and address any constraints such as flooding or contamination."
South Hams District Council is aware of the sensitivities and strength of feeling around the development of the site, and in addition to consulting with their in-house legal specialists, sought external legal advice before confirming that the order has now expired.