A London barrister plans to spend up to £750,000 on the restoration of a historic Sussex windmill.

Jolyon Maugham and his wife Claire bought the Grade II* listed Jack windmill at Clayton for £1.1 million last year and have submitted plans to the South Downs National Park Authority for a “massive” restoration project.

If the plans get the go-ahead, the Maughams, who have three young daughters, will put back the five-storey building’s distinctive timber cap, which was removed earlier this year for urgent repairs, to match its twin windmill Jill.

And they also want to repair the Grade II* listed Duncton Mill on the site, and refurbish a granary and a 1960s house, where the family is currently living.

The Maughams hope occasional weddings could be held in a chapel on Jack’s second floor followed by receptions in the granary, linked by tunnel to the windmill.

A music room to host chamber music events could be created in the granary, a glazed area where a planned “pop-up”

roof would protect beams and columns and its timber roof, which was blown off in the storm of 1987.

Mr Maugham, a tax specialist with a practice in Lincoln’s Inn in London, said: “We decided we wanted the windmill before we even saw it.

“We were particularly attracted to it by the extraordinary views from it.

“The views here have to be seen to be believed – the sunsets behind Jill are spectacular.

“I grew up in New Zealand with great views and I wanted to have that again.

“We were looking for somewhere with a lot of space for the children and we couldn’t find it in London so we started looking further afield and found this.

“My brother lives in Brighton so there is a connection.”

He added: “It will be a massive project – it could be as much as £750,000.

“The windmill will be the first priority – if it goes ahead, it will be the first time in living memory that Jack and Jill will have caps and sweeps together.

“Seeing Jack and Jill turning together into the wind will be really something – no one in living memory has seen that.”

Simon Potter, founding member of The Jack and Jill Windmills Society, said the society is “happy” that the Maughams plan to repair Jack windmill.

“We were very concerned that what they do is in keeping with Jack’s status as a Grade II* listed building, which is just one notch below Grade I, especially the cap, which is unique.”

Jack, which appeared in the 1974 Michael Caine spy thriller The Black Windmill, was built in 1866, but fell into disuse by 1906 and has remained in private ownership, owned in the 1950s by the writer Henry Longhurst.

Most of the planned work is external repair, the walls stripped of metal cladding to expose the bricks underneath, which will then be re-coated and re-pointed.

A spokesperson for the South Downs National Park authority said: “The planning committee will take the planning application into consideration when it comes to them in due course.”

Consultation on the plans ends on July 4. To view the plans, visit www.shouthdowns.gov.uk and go to planning.

The application number is SDNP/13/02506/FUL.