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Film set barns to go

September 6th, 2006 by Paul Martin

Two barns used as a film set will have to be dismantled after the Moorabool Shire Council last night voted against granting a permit for the barns to be used for storage.A temporary permit was issued in 2004 for the barns to be built as sets for the film “Charlotte’s Web” with permit conditions including they be dismantled within three months of the end of filming.

The “Arabel” and “Zuckerman” barns are located on a property on the Ballan-Greendale Rd, Greendale, and one objection was lodged against the storage permit proposal.

The objection was based on concerns the set would be used for tourist activity in the future, the barns’ American-style architecture and the temporary nature of the original permit.

Moorabool Shire Mayor Peter Russell said the council’s decision was to uphold the conditions of the 2004 permit, therefore demanding the barns be dismantled.

He said the council had a regulatory role to enforce planning processes.

“This issue of the “Charlotte’s Web” set has been stuck between support for films and our role as a regulatory authority,” he said.

Cr Russell said council had supported many films in the municipality, but when the crew left they needed to comply with the permits.

At the meeting, Woodlands ward councillor Pat Toohey said the barns could become a historical feature of the area in the future.

He said the application for the barn to be used for storage purposes was no different from other cases that had come before council for a change of use.

“I think we have shown a complete lack of vision in our motion,” he said.

Five councillors out of seven voted against granting a permit for the barns to be used for storage purposes.

[The Courier]