Couple face Christmas eviction from their home of 16 years

A couple face being kicked out of their home of 16 years by Christmas – after being served with an eviction notice.

Barbara Smathers and Les Harvey have been slapped with the no-fault eviction notice ordering them to get out of Diglake Farm, in Bignall End.

It is the second time in two years that the couple have been threatened with eviction after successfully winning their 2019 battle.

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It comes as the four-bedroom Diglake Farm is currently on the market.

Barbara says she has never been in a position to buy the property as it’s part of a ‘much larger estate, worth millions of pounds’. Instead, she says they have restored the property to its former glory.

The 57-year-old added: “We’ve put what we had into fixing it. It was utterly derelict – there wasn’t a roof, you looked up and there was daylight.

“It’s your entire life, your place of safety, and then to be told to go and find somewhere else and have funds to pay moving costs and deposits.

“It is like a trap door opening. I am sick with worry.”

Barbara Smathers could lose her home
(Image: Local Democracy Service Richard Price)

Barbara added: “I’m in this position because I have rented an unusual property. Long-term rental is a problem. Who can live six months to six months?”

Rare-breed stud farmer Barbara is a director of the Caspian Horse Society. There are only 150 Caspian horses in the UK – and Barbara has 17 of them on the land.

She added: “We’re literally racing extinction. These particular horses were thought to be extinct for 1,700 years.”

Diglake Farm comes with 259-acres of ‘rolling grassland’, 31 acres of ‘mixed woodland’, a range of traditional farm buildings and a fishing pool. Its occupants are required to be employed in agriculture or last employed in agriculture.

The sales literature states: “The dwelling is set within a good-sized plot with lawned gardens, a number of small paddocks and the traditional buildings within close proximity.

“Internally the property comprises a central hallway, two reception rooms, a kitchen with utility and wc off and four double bedrooms complete with a family bathroom at the first floor.”

StokeonTrentLive has approached the landlord for a statement regarding the eviction notice.

Cheshire Live – Cheshire