Tens of millions of pounds worth of property in Dunstable is owned by offshore companies across the world, it can be revealed.
Following a UK-wide Freedom of Information request by current affairs magazine Private Eye, the Dunstable Gazette has discovered that more than two dozen properties in the town were acquired on a freehold basis by overseas companies between 2005 and 2014.
Private Eye claims that international firms buy UK property “generally for tax avoidance and often to conceal dubious wealth”.
Swathes of land around the Woodside Estate is owned by firms based in Luxembourg, Guernsey and Jersey.
The most valuable of these is the White Lion Retail Park, which was bought by a Guernsey based comp any for £29million (excluding VAT) in 2010.
Land registry data shows that Luxembourg-based Prologis spent just shy of £25million on a colossal industrial warehouse on Boscombe Road.
Property across the rest of Dunstable has also been snapped up by companies based in the Far East, Central America and Western Asia.
A 56 acre site off Millfield Lane, Caddington, was bought by Al-Qaddoumi Property Consultant Ltd in the United Arab Emirates for £725,000 in February 2014,
The firm’s owner Mohammed Waleed Al-Qaddoumi has previously struck a deal with Barratt Homes to invest in a number of homes in Milton Keynes.
The Gazette has uncovered a brochure which splits the Caddington site into 300 plots and boasts that the village “has experienced an amount of residential build in recent years and is also set to see some more imminently.”