Release date: 24 February 2020
Proposals for West Sussex’s first state-of-the-art fire service learning and development centre and new 24-hour fire station have been revealed.
West Sussex County Council is proposing the £21m development for land off the A24 at Highwood Mill, near Horsham.
A public exhibition to showcase the proposals will take place from 4 to 11 March at Horsham Library.
Two drop-in sessions for people to view the proposed development and chat to the fire service and architects will be held at the library on:
- Thursday 5 March 4pm – 7pm
- Saturday 7 March 9am – 12 noon
The 24-hour fire station will incorporate all the best practice around firefighters’ health and wellbeing, including designated ‘clean’, ‘transitional’ and ‘dirty’ areas for firefighters returning from incidents.
The learning and development centre will include residential accommodation to deliver firefighter training. In addition to various training rooms used for digital simulations and assessments, three ancillary buildings will assist in the delivery of real-life scenarios:
- combined training tower and breathing apparatus facility
- realistic live fire training facility which will have zero emissions
- residential recruit training
- multi-agency incident command training facility
- realistic road traffic collision training area
The new facility has an emphasis on renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and air source heat pumps providing heating, in-line with the county council’s drive to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for the Fire and Rescue Service and Communities, said: “These are incredibly exciting plans.
“It has long been our aspiration to build a state-of-the-art training facility for our firefighters and these will be among the best facilities in the UK.
“It has also been a vision for more than a decade to create a new fire station for Horsham. These are ground-breaking plans being put forward by the County Council for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and I would encourage people to come along to the public exhibition.”
Following the public exhibition, a planning application will be submitted in the spring.
HNW Architects are leading the design of the project and Willmott Dixon Construction have been appointed as the contractors to take forward the project.
A virtual reality walk-through of the proposals is available here: https://youtu.be/d6DCq_QIsEk