COUNTY NEWS UPDATE: Searches continue after ‘explosive device’ found at village square

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A rest centre has been set up for evacuated residents after police closed a village square in Sussex due to a suspected explosive device.

Officers said they were called just before 9am to a flat in Fairbank Road, in Southwater near Horsham, West Sussex.

On arrival they found a device which they were concerned may be an explosive, police said.

A 100-metre cordon was set up around the car park in Lintot Square and nearby homes and businesses were evacuated.

An employee at a tea house in the square said they were told by police ‘to drop everything’ and leave the premises.

All the animals at a vets were also evacated from the building.

At 5pm, police said no-one arrests have been made and that officers and an explosive ordnance disposal team remained at the property while searches continued.

A spokesman said: “Those people who have been evacuated are thanked for their patience while the premise is searched and is established to be safe.”

A rest centre has been set up at Southwater Leisure Centre, Pevensey Road, for those affected by the incident, a spokesman from Horsham District Council said.

Warm drinks, sleeping bags and blankets will be provided for those who may need them.

The spokesman said: “If you have been evacuated, please listen to the advice given to you by the emergency services.

“If you have somewhere else to go, for example if you have a relative or family friend you can stay with, tell a Police Officer and follow Sussex Police on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

“Please stay in the area designated by the emergency services.”

The Council’s Emergency Planning Team will be available at the rest centre.

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