Coronavirus: Couple find their house is in a different tier from the garden

Colin Drury
·1-min read
<p>Sheila and Philip Herbert at their home in Otley, near Leeds</p> (Alex Cousins/SWNS)

Sheila and Philip Herbert at their home in Otley, near Leeds

(Alex Cousins/SWNS)

A couple whose home is in tier 2 are not allowed meet friends in their own garden – because it is in tier 3.

A bizarre boundary quirk means that Sheila and Philip Herbert’s detached house in the Yorkshire town of Otley is in the middle bracket of the new coronavirus restrictions, but their back lawn is in the strictest band.

The strange anomaly has risen because a culvert running under their land is the official boundary between Leeds City Council in West Yorkshire and Harrogate Borough Council in North Yorkshire, which are in different categories of the new alert system.

People in tier 2 can meet socially in groups of six outdoors including in private gardens. But Sheila and Philip are prohibited because, once they step out of their conservatory, they are in the higher tier.

Ms Herbert, a retired chiropodist, said she and her husband, a former executive officer in the justice system, were “just being sensible” about the unusual situation.

“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," she told SWNS news agency.

“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.”

She added: “My next-door neighbour pays her council tax to Leeds and we pay our council tax to Harrogate. Our bins are collected by different councils.”

The boundary quirk dates back almost half a century to when the street was first built above the culvert, but the boundary between the two areas remained the same.

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