Employment growth will be supported to deliver quantitative and qualitative improvements in job opportunities throughout northern Devon; the achievement of which will be supported on the following basis:
(1) Employment generating opportunities to meet identified needs and locally determined growth aspirations. Employment land requirements will be met through the release of a minimum of 84.9 hectares of land for general employment purposes and by the retention and reuse of employment sites.
(2) A flexible approach to employment land release will be adopted in response to relocation or expansion proposals that will contribute to improvements in the economy of northern Devon.
(3) The District Councils, working in partnership with business and local communities, will maintain and enhance a diverse local economy and encourage opportunities for inward investment. The high environmental qualities of northern Devon will be safeguarded to attract further investment from new and existing employers and links between the environment and the economy will be fostered.
(4) Opportunities for new business formations will be actively pursued and the long-term survival of businesses encouraged, with sustainable forms of business, including home-working, and the expansion of ICT particularly supported where this accords with other Local Plan policies. Working with partners, the Councils will encourage education and skills development in order to provide employers with access to a suitably skilled labour force.
(5) Within northern Devon, high-value jobs in business, education and research, those supporting a low carbon economy and other key growth sectors will be encouraged in sustainable locations. These jobs will retain and enhance local skills; and developers will need to demonstrate how they will work with local economic partnerships in maximising opportunities for employing local people and developing skills in northern Devon.
(6) Support will be given to existing sectors to ensure that they continue to flourish and grow in a sustainable manner. The modernisation of employment sites will be encouraged in order to meet current and future business needs.
(7) Proposals for economic development and diversification of the rural economy will be supported where they do not conflict with other Local Plan policies.