Possible location for Horsham blue-light satellite post for emergency services is revealed

Strawford Centre site in Horsham (photo from Google Maps Street View)
Strawford Centre site in Horsham (photo from Google Maps Street View)

A blue-light satellite post for emergency services could be created on the site of a Horsham day centre for adults with learning disabilities.

A new state-of-the-art fire station is being proposed off the A24 within the new Highwood development to replace the current building in Hurst Road.

The station would be a combined ‘blue-light operational and training centre’ with Sussex Police.

The scheme also includes plans for a joint blue-light satellite station close to Horsham town centre with an on-call fire engine and a public-facing front counter for police.

It has now been revealed that the Strawford Centre site in Blatchford Road is being considered as a location for this satellite post.

West Sussex County Council is looking into the potential of re-purporsing the centre for emergency services’ use, with discussions on-going with partners.

As part of its ‘Choices for the Future’ programme to modernise its in-house adult social care services the council is planning to rebuild the Pines and Strawford day centres, along with new 24 hour residential services, at an alternative location.

According to a recent council report the new satellite post would ‘maintain facilities for on-call (retained) fire cover, and provide touch-down facilities for South East Coast Ambulance Service, and potentially a front counter, office accommodation and interview facilities for Sussex Police’.

They added: “There may also be an opportunity to release a portion of this site for redevelopment. The feasibility of this option is being explored.”

A spokesman for the county council said: “The project is led by West Sussex County Council, in partnership with Sussex Police, South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and Horsham District Council, as part of the One Public Estate West Sussex Programme.

“As per the briefing note, we are looking into the potential of re-purposing the Strawford Centre for emergency services’ use. This project is currently being developed, and discussions are on-going with partners, including Sussex Police and SECAmb.”

On the new fire station plans an outline business case to support progression to detailed design and the development of a planning application is being prepared.