Residents fear vital heritage in the Korweinguboora area will be lost following major works on an iconic historic hut.
The hut appeared to be in the process of being pulled down on Friday morning but it is not known if the hut is being restored or moved to elsewhere on the property.
Herrod's Hut, at Korweinguboora, is visible on the left hand side on the main thoroughfare from the Western Freeway into Daylesford.
The property was sold as a 12-acre lot by Melbourne-based Real Estate Agent McQueens in February 2019.
A spokesperson for Moorabool Shire Council said there was no heritage overlay on the property, with the hut not considered to be a dwelling and therefore the owners do not require a building permit for any works.
Moorabool Shire's 2016-20 Heritage Strategy encompasses Bacchus Marsh, Blackwood, Lal Lal, Wallace, Ballan, Bungaree and Gordon - but Korweinguboora has not yet been studied for consideration. A number of buildings and sites, including the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour, are already heritage listed under the plan.
A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said there were original drawings and paintings on the walls of the hut. "The older locals would be really sad if it was pulled down. It would be a shame to see it go because you can't replace it," he said.
According to Daylesford and District Historical Society's Gary Lawrence, the cottage was most likely a worker's house or leased from one of the many sawmills situated in the area during the 1860s. The hut is built of a roughly sawn hardwood timber frame covered with weatherboards while the exposed roof shingles are most likely also hardwood.
Mr Lawrence said the land the cottage is situated on was owned by Mr Thomas Wood, who owned and leased several other cottages along the same road. A man by the name of Mr J. Wood operated an early sawmill further north up the road.
"Sawmills were often relocated to newer forest areas as the timber was cleared and many buildings were usually relocated to be closer to the new site for workers. A large timber tramway operated from the nearby Werribee River, crossed through Korweinguboora and into Dean. The line was an efficient way to cart materials in a well sourced timber area," Mr Lawrence said.
The Courier was unable to contact the new owners.