West Sussex fire training centre and fire station approved by planners

A new fire and rescue service training centre and fire station has been approved by members of the West Sussex County Council’s planning committee. The £21m development will be built near Horsham for West Sussex Fire and 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 training centre has an emphasis on real-life scenario training. The centre will include: a 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; and 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.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities, 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, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, 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.