Plans to reinstate the sails on Halnaker Windmill as well as other vital repairs have been revealed.
However the many people who will welcome the news have been asked to remain patient, with the work unlikely to be completed for another two years at least.
The iconic listed bulding, which sits at the top of Halnaker Hill, has been fenced off and without sails since May, 2013, after vandals caused an internal beam to fall off.
Inspections found a spur showing signs of failure, so the sails were removed to prevent further damage.
It was also discovered that some tiles were falling from the windmill, so West Sussex County Council fenced it off for safety reasons.
The windmill is a popular spot for walkers, and the Observer has received a number of letters asking when it will be restored to its former glory.
Now the county council has revealed that an archaeological illustrator has been commissioned to produce technical drawings required for the next step of refurbishment.
It follows meetings between councillors and the Listed Buildings Officer at Chichester District Council, along with the Sussex Windmill Trust.
The county council’s member for Chichester North, Jeremy Hunt, said: “We have commissioned the illustrator to produce five different technical drawings.
“We will submit an application to Chichester District Council’s Listed Buildings Team for approval.”
Once planning permission is approved, the county council will go out to tender and commission the repair work.
The refurbuishment programme will see scaffolding erected before the remaining tile hung façade is removed. The tile hung façade will then be reinstated to replicate the original design.
After that the door will be replaced and finally the sails will be reinstated.
The news will be welcomed by many local people and Boxgrove Parish Council, who have discussed the windmill in many meetings.
Mr Hunt said: “The nature of this work is seasonal and unfortunately we cannot start work in the winter months because the land is so soft.
“We cannot churn up the landowner’s ground by taking heavy equipment to and from the site.
“While there is hope this work can be done in one summer it would be more realistic to suggest that it might need to be spread over two years.”
“We, like everyone else who cherishes this wonderful landmark, want to restore Halnaker Windmill to its former glory.
“I have made this quite clear at many Boxgrove Parish Council meetings, as well as in a recent letter published in the local paper.
“As I’m sure everyone is aware we have huge demands on our limited capital, so this project must be considered alongside many other requirements.
“I would like to thank all those that have expressed concern about this great Sussex landmark, but urge everyone to please be patient.
“West Sussex County Council will restore Halnaker Windmill, but it may take a little while.”
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