First of its kind fire station approved in West Sussex

A new fire service training centre and fire station has been approved today by members of the county council’s planning committee.

The £21million development will be built on land off the A24 at Highwood Mill, near Horsham for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

It has been West Sussex County Council’s aspiration for well over a decade to create a new fire station for Horsham.

The new facility will be the first of its kind in West Sussex. It will offer industry-leading facilities for fire and rescue service staff, as well as a new 24-hour operational fire station for Horsham.

The project was unanimously given the go-ahead by the county council’s Planning & Rights of Way Committee.

A number of planning conditions and an informative were agreed on the build which included:

  • That there is further detail and agreement about the colour of the cladding on the outside of the live fire training building
  • The inclusion of a travel plan for the development
  • Amendments to the construction plan for the development, including limitations on external lighting, and waste management during the construction and subsequent operation of the site.
  • Extending the landscaping maintenance plan from five years to 10 years.

The training centre has an emphasis on real-life scenario training. The centre will include:

  • combined training tower and breathing apparatus facility
  • realistic live fire training facility construction to zero emissions standards
  • residential recruit training
  • multi-agency incident command training facility
  • realistic road traffic collision training area
  • training rooms used for digital simulations.

The new site has an emphasis on renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and air source heat pumps to provide heating, as well as electric vehicle charging points, in-line with the county council’s drive to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities, Duncan Crow, said: “I am delighted that this project has been approved today. The new development represents a significant investment in our fire and rescue service that will allow our firefighters the very best in training facilities. This benefits not only our firefighters, but also the safety of West Sussex residents.”

Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said: “This is a fantastic commitment from the county council to the training and development of all of our staff, and one which is going to have an incredible impact upon our service. I cannot wait for work to begin to turn these plans into a fully functional fire station and training centre.”

Work is expected to start in May and will take around 18 months to complete.

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