5th May 1999: Chailey Windmill dispute causes parish council storm

A row over the fate of Chailey Windmill sparked a mass walk-out from the parish council.

The row over the ownership of the windmill prompted half the parish council to boycott local elections and sparked the resignation of the parish council clerk.

A lease signed by the parish council in 1986 handed responsibility for the windmill to the parish council for 99 years.

But when the site was resold, its new owner, property developer Tristmire Ltd, demanded ownsership of the windmill. The firm used a clause in the original contract which allows for the return of the windmill within a six-month period.

Clerk Janice West said: “There’s one aim of the parish council – to save the windmill. But some people are doing their own thing. The council is not working together.”

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