A couple from Otley in West Yorkshire have come across a problem with the new tier restrictions. As they cannot meet up with friends in their garden as it is in tier 3, however their home is in tier 2.
Couple confused as their home is in tier 2 and 3: The problem has arisen as there is a boundary quirk, meaning that while they are able to abide by tier 2 restrictions indoors they cannot do so in the garden. Philip and Shiela Herbert discovered that their home in split into two councils, Leeds City Council and Harrogate Borough Council. A channel of water that runs underground official splits the two boroughs and it is directly under their garden.
The couple have been unaware of the boundary confusion for the 18 years that they have lived in the house with Sheila saying “It’s all one big conundrum. Our house is in Harrogate and our garden is in Leeds. It’s almost one toe in each county when we’re stepping outside. We are just being sensible. We go shopping at the nearest supermarket, which is in Tier 3, but they are all open anyway, so hopefully I’m not breaking any rules.
My daughter lives in Tier 3, but we are in her support bubble so as long as I can still see her, that’s all I’m bothered about.”
The majority of properties in Otley come under Leeds Borough Council but the road that the Herbert’s live in comes under Harrogate Borough Council, with average house prices of £400,000. Sheila added “My next-door neighbour pays her council tax to Leeds and we pay ours to Harrogate.
We didn’t know when we moved in, it’s an Otley address, an Otley postcode, we just assumed we lived in Otley and that was it. You don’t expect your garden to be in a different county from your house. We first found out about the boundary when we went to the recycling centre and they were doing spot checks.
They told us we couldn’t use it as we live in Harrogate. We have to use one that is nine miles away rather the one that is just about a mile and half away.” Sheila finished off by saying that it is a worry when new announcements are made as she doesn’t know if she is breaking the law or not.
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