On the 4th July 2017 Sajid Javid (pictured) Secretary of State for the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG) announced, that £2.3 billion of funding via the Housing Infastructure Fund, would be become available to Council’s across the country. One part of this funding comes under the guise of Forward Funding and it has been proposed that Otterpool Park – the 700ha development site – be the subject of a forward funding bid. Bids of up to £250 million can be submitted.
As an aside after Arena Leisure bought the Folkestone Racecourse in 2001 for £3 million, they still could not trace 4% of the original shareholders. Between them they owned 10,000 shares worth £145,000 in total. Have they been found all these years on?
That aside, what is the Housing infrastructure fund?
The Forward Funding bid can support a development as large as a new garden city or town, an urban extension, or the development of a number of brownfield sites that will deliver a significant number of homes.
The Forward Funding is described thus by the DCLG:
Forward Funding: This funding will be used for a small number of strategic high-impact infrastruct schemes. We may put i the first amount of funding, which gives the market confidence to provide further investment and make more land available for development and future homes.
Garden settlements – such as Otterpool Park – are the focus of the forward funding bids. As we have said, it has been proposed that Otterpool Park be the subject of Forward Funding bid.
Please people do remember that SDC is one half of the Promoter/Developer along with Cozumel Estates Ltd, a British Virgin Islands based company. They must apply to SDC the planning Authority for planning permission. They are, so SDC say, two separate entities, and which SDC is saying that? So who will apply for the money? SDC as promoter developer. SDC as Planning Authority or simply just SDC? Or will it be a joint exercise with someone else?
The forward funding is expected to fund bids of up to £250 million. This £250 million cap applies to the Housing Infrastructure Fund bid and not the size of the overall scheme. DCLG this funding contribution will provide the confidence needed to attract other sources of investment. SDC/Cozumel may get that when they pimp Otterpool Park at MIPIM in Cannes in March 2018
Higher levels of funding may be awarded in exceptional circumstances for example, be the equivalent of a large new garden city/town.
The deadline for submission of an Expression of Interest for Forward Funding is 11:59pm on 28th September. So we know what SDC have been busy working on over the since July 4th 2017.
One of the items SDC will be required to supply to the DCLG is evidence of a demonstrable market failure and that developers, or others, are not able to pay for the infrastructure themselves.
So SDC will provide to DCLG demonstrable proof of market failure to provide enough housing. Furthermore they have to inform DCLG that the Reuben Brothers (pictured), owners of Cozumel Estates Ltd and based in the British Virgin Islands; who are SDC’s other half ￼as promoter developer of Otterpool Park are unable to pay for any of the infrastructure costs.
This we believe will be a little tricky; after all the Reuben Brothers were the 3rd richest persons in the Sunday Times Richlist 2017; and worth an estimated £14 billion. What their business assets are worth is not known.
The Sunday Times points out that the Reuben Brothers are famous for being wary of debt and consistently hold a large proportion of their fortunes in liquid assets – cash and bonds. Hmmm, a skint developer, when all the evidence would contradict this.
Oh and there is the fact that Patton (pictured) Moreno & Asvat (pictured) (BVI) Ltd, the company who deal with the administration of Cozumel Estates Ltd in the British Virgin Islands, were hit with a £20,000 enforcement action by the BVI Financial Services Commission on the 4th Sept 2015, ‘for contraventions of the following secions of the Anti Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code 2008:
a) section 20(2) and (4) for failing to engage in proper enhanced customer due diligence;
b) section 21(1) and (2) for failing to review and keep up to date customer due diligence information in the required manner; and
c) section 31(5) for failing to adequately ensure that an introducer reviews and maintains customer due diligence information as required.
Another enforcement action against Patton Moreno & Asvat (BVI) Ltd was issued on the 15th February 2017. A Directive was issued to Patton Moreno & Asvat (BVI) Ltd, pursuant to section 40(1) of the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001 directing that:
a) by the close of business on Friday, 31st March, 2017 it fully complies with the requirements of regulation 7(2)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2008 and paragraph 2 of the Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Regulations, 2015;
(b) written confirmation be provided to the Commission on or before Friday, 31st March, 2017 that it has fully complied with the requirements of regulation 7(2)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2008 and paragraph 2 of the of the Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Regulations, 2015.
It is not known if Patton Moreno & Asvat BVI Ltd complied with the deadline.
Perhaps the shareholders and the Company Director of Cozumel Estates Ltd, might wish to see there way to finding a new corporate service provider in the BVI’s. We are sure they would not want their good reputation damaged by association with a company known to have been fined for failure to comply with Anti Money Laundering requirements.
It is known that suggestions have been invited by Cllr Paul Carter (pictured), Leader of Kent County Council, on where the next Garden City/Town/Village could be built in Kent. So people of Kent beware it could be coming to a place near you.
It is also known that there could be a new garden settlement built on the Hoo Peninsular -in the very north of Kent – according to Cllr Rodney Chambers (pictured) OBE of Medway Council
So potentially even more development across the Garden of England.
We do not think it’s wrong to demand a development scheme of any size enhances the quality of our lives. We do not think it’s wrong to oppose development. In this way it turns out our negativity is really a mask for our positive wish for all of us to live our lives free from those who pretend to act in our interests; but are only ever about giving more of what we’ve got away to those who already have too much!
The Shepwayvox Team
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; unless found so by a Court of Law.