Revealed: Offshore firms buying up Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 January 2018

Stock image - Picture: Thinkstock

Stock image - Picture: Thinkstock

BrianAJackson

Offshore deals: Exmouth bus station, land off The Parade, and the Dinan Way Lidl site were all sold through deals struck by firms registered outside the UK.

Offshore firms in tax havens have spent millions of pounds buying land and property in Exmouth.

Exmouth bus station, land off The Parade, and the Dinan Way Lidl site were all sold through deals struck by companies registered outside the UK.

Buyers can legally dodge paying stamp duty tax when an offshore deal is struck.

In March this year, the Royal Avenue bus station freehold was bought for £4.89million through a sale completed in St Helier, Jersey; the sale price for many of Exmouth’s offshore sales has not been made public.

Exmouth property deals have been struck in Jersey, Guernsey, Germany, Hong Kong and the Bahamas.

The freehold for land lying to the south of The Parade was sold in October 2000 for an undisclosed sum through a deal done in the Bahamas.

The freehold sale of the Lidl site, in Dinan Way, was completed by a corporate firm in Germany in March 2011, for an undisclosed amount.

The Journal has gone back through records dating back to 2008, obtained by Private Eye magazine.

These show that Exmouth Property Developments (Guernsey) Limited, in July 2010, paid £25,000 for 17 Clarence Road in an offshore deal; plus two further properties in Clarence Road and another at 26 Albion Street for undisclosed amounts.

In November 2013 a further offshore sale was completed in Guernsey on a property at Westward Drive, Exmouth.

In February 2004, two £90,000 leasehold deals were struck by Retirement Housing Management Limited, in the Isle of Man, on two flats in Hamilton Court, Salterton Road, plus another flat for undisclosed amount in June 2004.

The company bought a Little Bicton Court property leasehold for an undisclosed amount in September 2005. It was sold to The Capital Appreciation Trust (Isle of Man) PLC for £66,950 four months later on January 31, 2006.

Offshore deals are legal; the Government loses out on stamp duty when the investment is sold on.

Shares in the company are sold to the buyer so the registered owner of the title deeds does not change, swerving stamp duty land tax charges.

Firms can also withhold who is behind the sale so it can be difficult to trace the property or land owner.

Tax expert Richard Ely believes anonymity was the main reason for buying properties through offshore companies.

The deals could mean the identities of land or building owners remain secret; they can be impossible to locate when it comes to planning disputes.

“If we have anonymous companies, we don’t know they will be held to account,” he said.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 13:15

Exmouth’s Urban Earth, in Pankhurt Close, Littleham, last week attended the Bradstone Assured Awards 2018, held in Manchester, and won the overall title of installer of the year, plus the award for best patio transformation using traditional products and also the best patio transformation using 2017 products.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:55

Plans to turn Budleigh Salterton’s disused sorting office into a pub have been turned down.

Read more
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Head nurse and practice manager at East Devon’s Raddenstiles Veterinary Surgery is taking on a 15,000 foot skydive, in which she will freefall for around two miles, to help abandoned and unwanted dogs find their new forever homes.

Read more
Sunday, January 21, 2018

A trio of fundraising events have been announced for this year in the build-up to 2019’s Budleigh Salterton Food and Drink Festival.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Don’t miss this week’s gallery of readers’ photos.

Join in at iwitness24.co.uk and send us your East Devon pictures.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Curator Neville Evans explained that many botanical gardens were closing and giving away their collections due to funding issues – despite their conservational value. He added that Bicton’s 300 year-old landscape was ‘pretty special’, with ‘plants here that you will never see anywhere else’.

Read more
Friday, January 19, 2018

Guest of honour Conrad Humphreys said: “I very much enjoyed the Exeter College awards evening and celebrating the success of the students.

“As a former student and rugby player at the college - I have very fond memories of my time there before heading off to sail around the world in the 1993/4 Whitbread.”

Read more
Friday, January 19, 2018

Our Devon quiz is back for another round!

Read more
Friday, January 19, 2018

Exmouth Town Council will be temporarily closed from January 29-30 while office equipment and phones are moved to its new home.

Read more
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Artist Anna Fitzgerald, of Seadog Gallery, in Gussiford Lane, Exmouth, is calling for a bra army of support; she needs 4,000 over-shoulder-boulder-holder donations for the display, which will celebrate the suffragette movement and women winning the right to vote.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel


Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications