Foreign companies spent nearly 1billion purchasing up property


And land in south Essex FOREIGN business invested almost 1billion buying up property and land in south Essex during a 15-year splurge.A lot of the purchases originated from companies based in tax sanctuaries such as Panama, which bought websites throughout Southend, Basildon and Canvey worth 4.5 million.Business registered in other territories like Jersey, Guernsey and the British Virgin Islands purchased more than 300 sites in overall between 1999 and 2014.


The info was released by the Land Registry under the Freedom of Information Act, following a project from Private Eye publication for higher transparency.6 of the properties were on Victoria Avenue, Southend, consisting of Carby House and Heath House, bought by the Guernsey-registered Southend Properties for more than 5m in 2005.The company was threatened with an obligatory order in 2014 when Southend Council wanted to redevelop the location.


Council leader Ron Woodley stated: It was really tough. You wear t have a tight control on these owners because they hide behind their offshore business.We went through the whole compulsory purchase thing and because of that we got Victoria Avenue moving along.It s really hard to handle offshore business. Up until there is a change in the nationwide law it s an issue.Not all of the investments originated from tax haven-registered firms.


Promontoria Holding, based in the Netherlands, purchased up 8 clubs in Rochford, Southend, Leigh and Basildon in 2014.The Stonegate Pub Company, which is registered in the Cayman Islands, invested millions in property including the Lobster Smack, on Canvey, and the Beehive, in Basildon town centre.A spokesman said the firm s registration had no bearing on how much tax it paid.


He stated: The company is a Cayman included company and is tax resident in the United Kingdom and submits all UK corporation income tax return on an annual basis.The Freedom of Information request reveals foreign companies spent 145million on properties and long-lasting leaseholds in Southend alone, consisting of flats, houses, high street stores and business parks.There are 18 flats in Southend, Westcliff and Leigh purchased by Panama-based Consolidated General Investments Ltd, also linked to a company in Qatar.


An overall of 54 properties in south Essex are registered to companies in Jersey, including land and buildings on the south west side of Chester Hall Lane, Basildon, acquired for 47million in December 2014.The structure utilized by TGI Friday s, at Basildon's Festival Leisure Park, was also transferred to a Jersey-based firm in 2007 for a concealed sum.Business was later on purchased by personal equity firm Electra Partners in 2014 for 99m, but a spokesman for the group refused to state whether it was based in the UK.

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