Consultation / Event
Oct – Dec 2014


In 2014 Encounters led an interactive, creative engagement and consultation process with Totnes Community Development Society for a pioneering new community development: Atmos Totnes.

"Inspirational stuff. So exciting to see something incredible happening here that really reflects the community thinking. Very creative way of engaging me thank-you."

Visitor at the Atmos Totnes Hub

Encounters led the community engagement process at the Atmos Totnes Hub for the first stage of consultation. Stage two involved Encounters working closely with the Torbay Community Development Society team to deliver a series of design workshops involving 20 members of the public, further drop in Consultation around emerging plans and an outreach toolkit to take to events out of the site. These highly successful activities have involved over 2000 in the town in having a say about the future of the site.

The site planned for Atmos Totnes had been derelict for seven years and holds great significance. It was the site of Brunel’s atmospheric railway experiment, then a major industrial hub for the region through its period as a creamery and employer in the town, to the high profile community campaign to bring it back into use. There is now a legal agreement in place to enable the community to masterplan the use of the whole site and purchase of part of it through a Community Right to build Order that the Totnes Community Development Society plans to submit this year. At that point it will be the first site in the country to be developed in this kind of way in the UK. We are delighted to be involved with this pioneering project.

The Community Right to Build Order puts community consultation at the heart of the process, therefore Encounters’ creative approach to participation, formed a significant contribution to this new way of ‘doing’ community development through Atmos Totnes.

The Atmos Totnes Hub was set up in one of the disused buildings on the site. Since October over 2000 members of the community have dropped in or taken part in creative participatory consultation activities. These were designed and delivered by Encounters working closely with the project team and invited people to consider the past, present and future of the site.