David and Karen Yates’ family have not paid rent on their Hardwood home in Bolton since 2007 after saying they were promised a new lease by the council, which never came through
Image: MEN MEDIA)
A couple ordered by the local council to vacate their home in two days have ignored their eviction notice – and taken in Ukrainian cats instead.
David and Karen Yates’ family have farmed the land at Earls Farm in Hardwood for more than 300 years, with David taking over the lease when his father William died in 1995.
The couple have not paid rent since 2007 after they say they were promised a new lease by Bolton Council which never came through. Manchester evening news reported.
The couple were recently advised to “prejudicially take possession” of the land – also known as squatter rights – and filed an application with Her Majesty’s Land Registry (HMLR).
However, after filing the application, the couple received an eviction notice from the council.
The notice told them that the local authority would “strongly defend” the application and that they had until April 30 to leave the country.
David, 65, and Karen, 54, also have an 84-head breeding facility, an innovative production center for making barley straw that kills green algae, a facility for Men in Sheds – the men’s mental health charity – and a beauty and a nail treatment plant there.
And they will continue their business despite the threat of eviction.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recently contacted Karen and asked if the couple could take in cats that were brought to the UK from Ukraine.
The couple agreed, wanting to help with the tragic situation of Ukrainians fleeing the country and caring for their beloved pets while they complete the UK’s mandatory quarantine period.
The cats will be housed in Bolton for three months before being exempt from quarantine.
After that, the cats are reunited with their owners.
Karen said: “DEFRA contacted us about two weeks ago to ask if we would consider taking in cats from Ukraine and we said yes, we wanted to help as much as we could.
“We received a phone call and video call inspection because they couldn’t get up to see us in person and said we’d like to allocate a whole unit of chalets because I know they’re really under pressure to move cats up front, so they can bring more cats over.
“The lady I spoke to said they really need to move forward and was very happy with the cattery.
“We monitor all the cats we care for on a daily basis, but because the cats from Ukraine are in quarantine, DEFRA wants us to keep a closer eye on them.
“I am very happy that we can help, the situation is really desperate and I am very relieved that we can help.
“It’s nice to have everything ready and just push the button for them and show the unit and our grocery stores and everything we have in the cattery.
“They said the cats could arrive as early as Thursday, but everything is ready for them.
“We’ve been doing this for so long now that we know what we’re doing, so I know they’re going to be fine here.”
A spokesman for Bolton Council previously said: “We are unable to comment due to ongoing legal proceedings.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/family-told-leave-home-two-26825857 The family were told to leave home in two days, vowing to stay and take in dozens of Ukrainian cats