A veteran Gracetown couple are breathing a sigh of relief after finally ending a decade-long ordeal involving an historic Shire of Augusta-Margaret River error. Ian and Judith Englert fronted the most recent Shire council meeting to express weary relief at the conclusion of the saga which started when they bought their home on Cowaramup Bay Road and received incorrect advice from the Shire that no easements or encroachments affected the property. Instead, the Englerts were contacted several years later about their land encroaching on the adjacent Waddingham Road reserve, breaching planning laws. The Englerts then discovered the house they’d bought was also not located within the approved building envelope, with parts extending over the contested road reserve. “The Shire in fact allowed the buildings to be built where they are today,” Mr Englert said. The Englerts tried different ways to resolve the matter, including direct liaison with WA’s Department of Lands. The house couldn’t be sold with the known encroachment and the stress of the situation took the ageing couple to the brink. “Over the past 10 years this has gone on, Judith and I have spent a lot of money and we’ve pulled down part of the structure,” Mr Englert said. “It’s caused us a lot of stress and worry. “We didn’t cause this problem. “At our age, we really can’t go on like this like we have during the past 10 years.” A solution brokered with the Shire and signed off by councillors involved swapping a slice of the property in lieu of the road reserve, with the surrendered portion to join the neighbouring national park. In last month’s decision, councillor Ian Earl expressed sympathy for the Englerts and deputy Shire president Julia Meldrum said the impasse “shouldn’t have taken this long to settle”.