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West Sussex £21m development proposals revealed

Published by Hunter Dunning on 3rd March 2020 -

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A new £21m fire service learning and development centre and 24-hour fire station is in the plans to be built by contractor Willmott Dixon in Highwood Mill, near Horsham, designed by HNW Architects.

Following the exhibition of designs by Chichester based architectural practice HNW Architects, a planning application is due to be sent to West Sussex County Council shortly for the new Horsham based project.

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The building has been designed as a learning and development centre for the fire service, and as a 24-hour fire station. Residential accommodation and training rooms will be included within the training centre as well as facilities to recreate emergency scenarios, including road crash response and fire-fighting.

It has been said that the 24-hour station will have a key focus on the firefighters’ health and wellbeing. There will be designated and separated ‘clean’, ‘traditional’ and ‘dirty’ areas for firefighters who are returning from incidents.

A spokesman has said: “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.”

“Three buildings in addition to various training rooms will help deliver real life scenarios including a 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 and realistic road traffic collision training area” he added.

HNW Architects designs have planned for the building to be located on a site off the A24 at Highwood Mill, near Horsham – subject to planning permission.

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West Sussex county councillor Duncan Crow, cabinet member for the Fire & 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.”

Blue light schemes have been a particularly rich area for Willmott Dixon in recent years, landing approximately £200m of work in the sector over the past three years.

For anyone eager to find out more about these exciting new plans, the Council have said there will be a public exhibition to showcase the proposals from the 4th of March through to the 11th and will take place at Horsham Library.

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