In 2013 the Government’s Planning Inspector denied the redevelopment of Folkestone Racecourse on the grounds that too many homes were proposed.
Folkestone Racecourse, is owned by the Reuben Brothers (left) via their company COZUMEL ESTATES LIMITED (incorporated in British Virgin Islands).
On the 5th February 2014 at the Tory annual winter fund-raiser the former Prime Minister David Cameron sat down for dinner with Simon Reuben among others.The Reuben brothers have been major Conservative Supporters for years.
Within months of the dinner, things began happening at the racecourse. In May/June 2014 Tibbalds drew up a confidential report for Shepway District Council regarding ‘options’ for Folkestone Racecourse. See → tibbalds-folkestone-racecourse_may_2014
Who paid for this report? We can see no record of any payment to Tibbalds in the Payment to Suppliers in 2014. An oversight by SDC perhaps?
In Nov 2014 Report C/14/38. (Item 45) was approved by Cabinet on 5 November 2014. The report asked for a virement of £100,000 from the net under spend to fund work during 2014/15 and 2015/16 to examine the rationale and potential scope of economic development related activities within the vicinity of Junction 11 of the M20.
From Nov 14 onwards there was a flurry of work undertaken in and around Folkestone Racecourse, J11, culminating in SDC buying the Otterpool Land
In 2015/16 Dr Susan Priest(left) SDC Corporate Director, Operations expenses show she began travelling to various conferences regarding ‘Garden Town’s’
SDC forged ahead as you can see from their timeline.
On 8th September 2016 SDC entered into an Initial Collaboration Agreement with Cozumel Estates Limited and Investors In Private Capital Limited a company where Simon Reuben’s son, James Reuben (below) is a director. Investors In Private Capital Limited is owned by wellington-estates-ltd a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, just like Cozumel Estates Limited. Investors in Private Capital Ltd have in the past, according to the Guardian, donated £222,500 to Conservative coffers.
Now SDC’s take on the Collaboration Agreement is that they only signed it with Cozumel Estates Ltd as you can see from their document at point 5. SDC state:
“A collaboration agreement has been signed between SDC and Cozumel Estates, owners of Folkestone Racecourse (wholly owned by the Rueben Brothers) to set out the principle of working together on a comprehensive masterplan for Otterpool Park.”
No mention of Investors In Private Capital Limited, why is that? Why have they been omitted from the statement put out by SDC? Any guesses?
You can always contact Jeremy Chambers (left) or Julia Wallace and ask them the question. They are reachable at
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Julia Wallace was a former Planning Manager at ATLAS, Homes and Communities Agency July 2006 – December 2014 (8 years 6 months). Atlas is a service available to Local Planning Authorities and their partners to assist them in bringing large scale, complex and strategically significant projects (such as Garden Towns) through the planning system.
So SDC are in bed with two companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. As the project develops over time will these two companies, Cozumel & Wellington be paying tax in the UK? We simply do not know the answer to that question. If you would like to ask the Reuben brothers you can contact them here
There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in this blog post have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.