Tottenham To Benefit From Controversial Plans To Develop Area Opposite New Stadium
EPL Tottenham is "positioned to benefit from controversial council plans to develop an area opposite the new ground involving the demolition of existing local businesses," according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN. Tottenham has bought substantial land in that area, now proposed for residential development, and recently moved ownership of the property offshore, raising the possibility of avoiding corporate capital gains tax when it is sold at a profit -- "although Spurs deny the transfer was motivated by tax avoidance." The development, proposed by Haringey council, "follows a renegotiation of Spurs' planning permission last year," when the club was released from a £16M commitment to improve transport and community infrastructure, and to build 50% affordable housing in the apartment blocks planned on the site of the current ground. Tottenham Chair Daniel Levy argued that "those requirements were making it difficult" to raise the £400M ($642M) necessary to build the new stadium, and "called for the wider development to boost land values and investor confidence in the Tottenham project." Tottenham stands to profit from the residential development because of the property it has bought in that area in recent years, "including the Carbery enterprise park and some 20 shops and flats." On March 27, just before the council made the "masterplan" public for consultation with local residents in April, Tottenham transferred all its property in the High Road West area to TH Property Ltd, "a company registered in the Bahamas." That is the Caribbean tax haven home of billionaire currency trader Joe Lewis, "who owns a majority of Spurs via his holding company, Enic International." Haringey council has said "it has not yet discussed compensating or relocating businesses." The Spurs point out that "any money potentially made from it forms no part of the funding being assembled to build the new stadium itself." That, approximately £400M to build a 56,000-seat stadium, stores and a podium around it, "will be raised by selling naming rights and bank borrowing" (GUARDIAN, 10/30).