A high proportion of South Molton’s work force is involved with land based industries, although tourism is also important to the local economy. Pathfields Business Park is located to the north of the town and continues to expand as a vibrant economic centre. It has a wide range of business and distribution uses serving the surrounding rural area and reflecting its good links to the A361 and M5. However, average household incomes are below the average for North Devon.
The emerging Local Plan acknowledges the importance and uniqueness of the town centre. The enhancement of the town centre will strengthen South Molton’s vitality and viability as an important local service centre, delivering retail opportunities to meet the needs of the town and its rural catchment area by reducing retail expenditure.
South Molton offers a wide range of complementary therapists in South Street, two pharmacies, the Community Hospital and the GP surgeries - all of which serve the large rural area surrounding the Town.
The Plan’s aim for South Molton is to deliver serviced employment land to meet the town’s current and future needs and to support business development.
The Neighbourhood Plan can improve opportunity for existing and new businesses within South Molton by influencing Local Plan decisions. The Plan can detail the specific use of land and ensuring an appropriate balance for South Molton is sustained.
NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN PRINCIPLES
Recognise and promote the town centre’s uniqueness and value to individuals and groups who live in the Town and catchment area.
Retain local independent busines, whilst appreciating there can be a balance with supermarkets.
Encourage new businesses to provide training and employment to local people.
Encourage service sector companies to relocate to Pathfields Industrial estate.
Encourage start up businesses to locate to Pathfields.
The total employment land requirement for South Molton over the period 2011 to 2031 is approximately 10.8 hectares (plus 2.5 hectares for a re-located livestock market). This overall employment requirement will be delivered through the provision of serviced employment land through the expansion of Pathfields.