Restoration work on a landmark windmill currently derelict could start this summer.
However, planning permission is needed before the sails can finally be reinstalled on Halnaker Windmill.
West Sussex County Council has moved to reassured residents of its commitment to restoring the Grade 2 listed windmill, which sits on the South Downs skyline and has been closed off since 2013?
A planning application has been submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority for restoration work to go ahead.
Cllr Jeremy Hunt, county council member for Chichester North, said: “I would like to reassure people that any talk of the demise of Halnaker Windmill is completely misguided.
“I can confirm that the county council is fully committed to the restoration of the windmill.
“I realise that everyone would like to see the building restored to its former glory as soon as possible but restoring an ancient building like this is, by its very nature, not an overnight job.”
The council has come into criticism for not beginning the work sooner.
The iconic landmark has been closed off to the public since May, 2013, after a beam fell on a man inside the building following ‘alleged vandalism’, according to the county council.
The sails were removed soon after for safety reasons.
Works are expected to last 11 weeks and are likely to start in June 2016, dependent on receiving planning approval, and weather and ground conditions.
The sails are currently in safe storage and will undergo necessary repair and redecoration before being reinstated, WSCC said.
Reinstatement can only occur once the external tile-hung façade work is completed.
However, this part of the restoration might not be completed until 2017.
Cllr Hunt added: “I will continue to update Boxgrove Parish Council on our progress and I am sure that details will be available on their website at www.boxgrovepc.org.”
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