ANYONE who has ever dreamed of owning their own windmill is being given a rare opportunity to buy an Oxfordshire landmark.

The current owners of Wheatley Windmill, descendants of the last millers to work the site, have put the grade-II listed building up for sale with an asking price of £300,000.

But notions of recreating the living arrangement of curly-haired fictional detective Jonathan Creek will not be realised at the 18th century structure according to Geoff Stephens, chairman of the Wheatley Windmill Preservation Society.

He explained: “There is no way to covert it into anything other than its original purpose due to the age and listing, and the land it comes with is in the Green Belt so there would be no way to build there either.”

Mr Stephens and other members of the community are keen to keep the current use of the windmill, which was fully restored in 2009 and has open days on the second Sunday of each month between May and October.

The preservation society currently has a 25 year operating licence which is active for another seven years but beyond that it would be vulnerable.

Mr Stephens said: “There are two options if it is sold, either it goes to a sympathetic owner like the windmill in Great Haseley, which the community could accept, or an unsympathetic one who would not be interested in the heritage aspect and could shut it to the public after 2025.”

As extra protection, the society and Wheatley Parish Council applied to South Oxfordshire District Council for the windmill to be listed as an asset of community value, which was approved this week.

This means if an offer does come in for the windmill residents would have six months to put together a counter offer.

Mr Stephens said: “The local community is confident that as long as the owners have a realistic valuation the funds could be raised.”

The mill is currently owned by Paul Cripps and Sarah Storey, who both live on the Isle of Man.

They are the descendants of George Cripps, who bought the mill in 1857 and passed it on to his sons.

Ezra Cripps was the last miller at the outbreak of the war in 1914. For decades afterwards, the windmill was neglected and fell victim to fire and lightning.

Determined to preserve the structure, 42 years ago volunteers started a campaign to get the mill up and running again, which they achieved just under a decade ago.

The building is listed on property website Zoopla.