A HISTORIC Dartmoor police station is now on private land in Port Fairy, despite Glenelg Shire Council attempting to block police from moving the building.
A council spokeswoman said the building, which is included in the council's planning scheme heritage overlay, was removed from the Wapling Avenue address without council permission.
"A planning permit is required to remove or demolish a building, irrespective of size," the spokeswoman said.
The 1892 weatherboard building was vacant in Dartmoor for 10 years and was deemed unsafe and unfit for renovation.
But the council attempted to stop the removal and issued Victoria Police and on-site contractors with a cease-works notice on Friday June 7.
"Council is still investigating the matter to consider appropriate enforcement actions and restitution," the spokeswoman said.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman refuted that police received the cease-works notice and said a planning application had been lodged for the property's address.
"The old police station has not been sold, however it was recently relocated to a rural property in Western Victoria," she said.
"In relation to concerns raised by local residents, Victoria Police is actively working with Glenelg Shire Council to mediate a community-based solution."
Moyne Shire Council planning manager Robyn Olsen said the council had granted a permit for the building to be moved onto private property in Port Fairy for use as a dwelling.
"Council was aware that the building was the old Dartmoor police station and have been in contact with Glenelg Shire for the planning permit information. There is a current building permit for the re-erection of the building," Ms Olsen said.
It's the principle that the application of the law in heritage terms should apply to everybody, and ignorance is no excuse.Dartmoor District Museum's Michael Greenham
Glenelg Shire mayor Anita Rank said it was "extremely disappointing" the council's planning processes and heritage overlay had been disregarded.
"It's relevant to its area of (original) location," Cr Rank said of the structure.
"It's of significance with regards to the history of law enforcement in Dartmoor and they have a very strong historical group up there who deem it significant."
Dartmoor District Museum's Michael Greenham said he believed the building had been sold and the community were disappointed with the principle of the sale.
"It's the principle that the application of the law in heritage terms should apply to everybody, and ignorance is no excuse," Mr Greenham said.
"It was bought as a dwelling from the house removalist and to my understanding (the buyer) is unaware of its significance."
He said while the community had treasured the building, he believed there was little support for the building to be returned unless the town could put it to use.
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