Sale Of Holetown Chefette For “$40 Million Plus” Highlights The Killing Impact Of Condos Upon Tourism And Local Businesses

chefette-barbados-condo.jpg

Chefette Sells Off Holetown Location Because Condos & All-Inclusive Resorts Killed Tourist Traffic

Down with the old, and up, up, up with the new condos. We can’t blame Chefette for selling off a location that wasn’t profitable any longer, but the article about the sale that appears in the Nation News gives us some issues to ponder.

First we should be asking ourselves if the changes that are occurring on Barbados are managed and planned – or is the whole thing out of control? Are we content to have a wall of high condos built around the perimeter of this island? Are we content to have our coastal views and beach access blocked by walls of foreign-owned concrete?

The last government never produced or followed any land use plan – only the dollar talked. Increasingly we are living with social and economic changes that are the result of all this willy-nilly building. We the people should be demanding that some sort of plan be followed. As it is, there are no rules for those with money.

But these changes in building types and patterns are producing unmanaged and unforeseen social and economic changes. From the Nation News…

While the company did not give a price or the name of the new owner, it stated Chefette Holetown had been “underperforming”, and that the hundreds of “tourists visiting the area to dine [had] declined due to the numerous all-inclusive hotels along the West Coast, in addition to the change of the community into a more upscale condominium and townhouse-based one”.

The company added that declining sales coupled with “an attractive offer” by the investor, led to the sale of the 80,000-square-foot prime beachfront property –one of the few remaining “windows to the sea”.

Have The New Owners Already Received “Wink & Nod” Approval To Build A Highrise Condo?

Have The New Owners Ever Given A Political Donation Or Gift To Any DLP Government Member?

The article goes on to say that the new owner of the $40 million dollar property wants to remain secret and that the Land Tax, Land Registry and Corporate Affairs departments also showed no record of the sale.

As our friend at Push! Pull! Blog says (oh sorry… thats Pull! Push! I can never remember)…

“I Ain’t No Lawyer”… but something tells me that as fouled up as our land registry system is, ownership information is supposed to be made available to the pubic.

Gosh, I thought all this non-transparency and backroom deal stuff was supposed to end with the election of the DLP and David Thompson?

Am I a fool or what? Let’s hear it folks!

What Happened To Thompson’s Promise Of Transparency & Integrity Rules?

The Nation News: $40 Million For Chefette

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117 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Offshore Investments, Traveling and Tourism

117 responses to “Sale Of Holetown Chefette For “$40 Million Plus” Highlights The Killing Impact Of Condos Upon Tourism And Local Businesses

  1. Tell me Why

    The article then goes on to say that the new owner of the $40 million dollar property wants to remain secret and that the Land Tax, Land Registry and Corporate Affairs departments also showed no record of the sale.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Suppose this is a so-called sell and buy-back scene. Maybe the group might be secretly embarking on the the Condos business. Tell me why I am feeling something sinister in the air.

  2. Tell me Why

    Come on BFP, you are having blogs and blocking those who have been contributing to the said blogs. Release my article.

  3. Sargeant

    Why do you take Chefette’s word that the site was “underperforming”? That’s a canard if I ever heard one.Chefette should be honest and say we received an offer we couldn’t refuse. What galls me is another location with a “window to the sea” which will disappear and you can bet your bottom dollar that the average bajan will not have access to it in future. So if any of you have cameras take pictures now, that’s what I did when I last visited the location.

  4. peltdownman

    With the completion of this sale, some 5-600 metres of seafront will be boarded off from public view, stretching from Divi Heritage in the south, to the Beach House further north. In between there are two villas, at least one of which is for sale (understandably). This is shaping-up to be an environmental disaster, as well as an economic one.

  5. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    Read like this it would appear that Chefette had a perfectly legitimate reason to sell their Holetown beachfront property.

    “While the company did not give a price or the name of the new owner, it stated Chefette Holetown had been “underperforming”, and that the hundreds of “tourists visiting the area to dine [had] declined due to the numerous all-inclusive hotels along the West Coast, in addition to the change of the community into a more upscale condominium and townhouse-based one”.

    But of course company press releases often leave-out the bits that really matter. More accurate would have been this:

    “Only because Chefette found someone willing to pay $40 million plus for the prime beachfront property to build a block of luxury condominium apartments and thereby add to the systematic destruction of the West Coast, Chefette Holetown is closing and as good a reason as any to feed to the public is to say that the location had been “underperforming”, and that the hundreds of “tourists visiting the area to dine [had] declined due to the numerous all-inclusive hotels along the West Coast, in addition to the change of the community into a more upscale condominium and townhouse-based one”.

    As proof. Let’s wait and see how long it takes for Chefette to open their next Holetown branch within a stone’s throw of the block of luxury condos.

  6. BMobile

    K I S S

    Y U H

    R A S S H O L E

  7. BMobile

    People are free to sell what is theirs.

    Lazy BFP k u n t

    K. I. S. S.

    Y. U. H.

    R. A. S. S. H. O. L. E.

  8. Thistle

    Oh, dear God, how I wish we had the ‘A’ Team here, so that they could jump on a buldozer and let rip along the west coast, licking down every damn condo from Batts Rock to Speightstown (but leave the dear little chattel houses in between). I can dream can’t I?

  9. Ossie Moore

    Sargeant is bang on the money!
    There never was a Chefette that din’t turn a good dollar fuh Halout an dem!

    Yes…I suspect they got an offer that was well worth taking…which may have amounted to the next 10 yrs. profits after taxes
    – and if it wuz you or I,
    we woulda tek it too!
    _____________________
    Now here’s an interesting snippet for you.
    The site upon which Chefette Holetown is now..
    used to be the property and residence of (Holetown)Magistrate Sydney Nurse.
    As children in the 1960s
    we used to visit him and his eccentric wife May
    for the purpose of swimming right there, off his beach
    around and under the jetty he had built to house and maintain his small yacht!

    Today the remnants of the jetty(if still there) amount to no more than the worn stumps of its pilings sticking out of the sand,underwater
    …and speaking of underwater…this was the place where I first stuck my head underwater as a boy of nine, using a face-mask..to discover the wonders of the underwater world, all clear and close up!

    I can still recall that first glimpse of a wondrous undersea image
    ‘thru the looking glass’ as it were,
    and that was fifty years ago
    ..OMG, I’m getting old!

    But that’s not the sweet spot in all this –
    most younger people today hear Ossie Moore jokes
    and never know or believe that Ossie Moore actually existed.

    Let me assure you that not only did he exist,
    but I knew him
    if only because he was Mag. Sydney Nurse’s faithful gardener,
    on that very site at Holetown.

    He was a tall,big man,
    ever so kind to us children,
    but by God, he was also ‘as thick as mud’
    (i.e. “not the sharpest tool in the shed”!)

    You could call him Ossie(as we did)
    or you could call him Moore
    (as Mag.Nurse no doubt did)
    but doan slip en call him ‘Ossie Moore’
    or he would get cruel!

    Those wanting to know more about this very real Barbadian character
    may consult the “A-Z of Barbadian Heritage”
    by Fraser,Carrington,Forde and Gilmore
    (every Bajan household should have one!)
    where, in my First Edition of 1990,
    it tells all about Ossie
    on pages 114 and 115.

    Ossie Moore died 17th. of June, 1976
    at the age of seventy six,
    – God Rest His Soul !

    Long Live Ossie Moore!

  10. Pablo

    BFP DO YOU STILL HAVE A POLICY OF DISALLOWING ONE BLOGGER TO USE SEVERAL DIFFERENT NAMES IF SO I CAN ASSURE YOU IT IS NOT WORKING PLEASE INVESTIGATE THIS MATTER AND PUT IT RIGHT.

    I GONE FOR NOW!

    ****************

    BFP says,

    Yes, we still have a policy that folks are not allowed to post under multiple names. If you suspect someone, please say so in the comments or email us and we’ll keep watch.

    Thanks.

  11. Sundowner

    I was so sad to hear about another piece of land disappearing under concrete this morning, then damn angry.
    Some tourists are not returning to Barbados because what they originally came here for, peace/ quiet/ beautiful beaches/views of said beaches, are disappearing. We’re ‘cutting off our noses to spite our faces’. When all the tourists have gone, what are we going to do then? live on the profits of sugar cane? ha ha

  12. Hants

    My fellow Bajans. We have to get used to a new norm.

    Dah beach ain’t mine. uh khan bade no time.

    Its almost over.

    There are a few places left though.

    The new beach access will be through the 2 “river” in Holetown. Wear some rubber boots.

  13. Hants

    Sundowner tourists will still come. just different ones.
    Reality is a lot of tourists just want beach and booze.

    It is painful for me to see Barbados lose part of its culture but life goes on.

    I will try to spend more time in Barbados over the next few years while it is still possible to hang out on the West Coast with my friends.

    The future development on the West Coast will see the Fish Markets replaced by condos and Highway 1 moved inland.

    I am fortunate that the first 20 years of my life were spent in Barbados when Sandy Lane was still a plantation and fishermen ruled the West Coast beaches.

  14. Hants

    Is it now reasonable to say that Bajans should accept that the calm pristine waters off the West coast and the beaches are too valuable to waste on the “locals” since we have to maximise the value of our “assets”?

    Should we all now retreat to the East Coast?

    Does anybody really care?

  15. Fatpork

    Oh ye of little faith … God is a good God and we have Him on our side believe it or not. He doesn’t like ugly and trust me an island with no views to the sea – IS UGLY!!

    Given the present state of affairs, I won’t be surprised if constant beach erosion sees many of these said condos forming reefs in the future. I always remember World Cup Final 2007 on our Heroes Day. I refused to go … there went a great cry in Heaven, and God in his wisdom opened the heavens, and the rain fell, then darkness came and the plans of the ‘wicked’ … you know the rest of the story.

  16. Bob

    BFP… just to let you know…. the sale of this chefette property was talked about in the 50 million dollar range since Mid 2007…. so don’t go there as though the DLP had anything to do with it.

    ******************

    BFP says,

    1. The lack of transparency is now the DLP’s problem as the deal is closing on their watch.
    2. Many folks don’t think there is a whole lotta difference between the BLP and the DLP at this level. There are no rules and it will be a DLP government presumably that will be granting permission for whatever the new owners want to do with the land.

    Therefore it is totally a DLP situation – including the lack of transparency and rules.

  17. 2 Cents

    Fatpork!

    you are spot on, both with this and the CWC analogy.

  18. Wishing in Vain

    Why suggest that a dlp person may have an involvement in this project is beyond me, the person or persons who purchased this property are the same as the ones that bought the Regent this purchase was carried out a long time before the DLP were elected to office are you on a witch hunt or what ?

    This sale was completed for somewhile now it has only now made it to press

    ***************

    BFP says,

    Once again, any land use permissions will be given under the DLP’s watch and the Prime Minister unfortunately has not kept his promise about adopting a Ministerial Code – so the persons in government considering the land use applications are not prohibited from receiving gifts from those asking for the changes.

    Pretty basic stuff WIV.

    It is called ITAL – Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation.

  19. no name

    WIV,
    If the sale took place before the DLP was elected 15 January, how come no record of the transaction is filed in any statutory department?

    Something smells.

  20. John

    Stuart: Tax for non-nationals needs raising

    Date July 19, 2007
    Brief Stuart: Tax for non-nationals needs raising
    Don’t expect land prices to come down because of a reduction in the Property Transfer Tax.

    The Opposition’s main spokesman in the Senate, Freundel Stuart, issued this warning yesterday.

    He was speaking on a bil

    DON’T EXPECT LAND PRICES to come down because of a reduction in the Property Transfer Tax.

    The Opposition’s main spokesman in the Senate, Freundel Stuart, issued this warning yesterday.

    He was speaking on a bill to reduce the Property Transfer Tax from 7.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

    Stuart charged that Government was not addressing a fundamental issue that was pushing the price of land beyond the reach of ordinary Barbadians – the absence of a disincentive to non-national property buyers.

    The real problem is the price at which non-nationals can buy land in Barbados, he argued. He said their pockets were so deep they could offer anything for lands and distort the market.

    At the same time, they put locals in a position where if they cannot bargain at that level then they cannot buy land, Stuart argued.

    The lawyer contended that former Prime Ministers Bernard St John and J. M. G. M. “Tom” Adams argued that the Property Transfer Tax for non-nationals should be higher, 10 per cent in the case of St John.

    He charged that the current Government was making a grand “U-turn” on the policies of the Adams and St John administrations.

    Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Erskine Griffith, said the recommendation to cut the Property Transfer Tax came out of a review of the general tax system in Barbados to ensure that it was in line with what obtained across the region to make Barbados more competitive.

    One view was that lowering the tax would help to reduce the cost of acquiring property.

    Griffith said the Government was also moving to increase from $125 000 to $150 000 the threshold at which the tax applies. (TY)

  21. John

    Transfer Tax down to 2.5%

    Date July 11, 2007
    Brief

    NEW TAX REDUCTION LEGISLATION that should lower the cost of land, create employment and bring in foreign exchange, was passed in the

    House yesterday.

    Introduced by Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Clyde Mascoll in Parliament, the Property Transfer Tax (Amendment) Act has

    been reduced from

    7.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent, representing 662/3

    per cent reduction in the rate of the tax and raising the exemption threshold on property worth

    $125 000 to $150 000.

    Saying he had been bitterly opposed to the raising of property transfer tax to ten per cent since 2001, Mascoll said he was pleased with what he called an excellent and revolutionary move.

    He said in previous years the tax for foreign and local land vendors was ten per cent, and such a significant reduction would now have major micro and macro-economic effects.

    Mascoll explained that the micro-economic effects would include: the significant reduction

    (by 662/3 per cent) of the cost of an individual purchasing land and property; an increase on the threshold for those owning land worth

    $150 000 or less; making Barbados a more attractive place for foreign persons to register and establish companies, thereby bringing in foreign exchange; and allowing small business to be far more flexible and capable in responding to the economic environment in terms of its investment portfolio.

    He explained that the new legislation would provide an opportunity for smaller entities in Barbados to move shares from one company to another without incurring the 7.5 per cent property transfer tax.

    Mascoll also noted that the macro-economic impact would include: Government giving

    up $40 million in revenue where it would have raked in some $60 million under the 7.5 per cent tax in the next fiscal year; the lowering of tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio; the lowering of the price of land which would therefore make it cheaper for business to establish physical companies; and probably more jobs as a result of more investment and the establishment of companies.

    “This is critical as a policy as Government seeks to empower and make available land and property to the middle-to-lower income community,” he told the Lower House.

    “The same way in which I would’ve levelled all kinds of criticism when the property tax at the time was ten per cent . . . .

    “I see this as an excellent move . . . . It is satisfying and I am exceedingly pleasing to see this kind of policy being introduced at this time. It is deliberate in its intent,” he said.

    Such legislation,

    he added, stemmed from Government’s obvious desire to further enhance Barbados’ capacity to be competitive while

    allowing “smaller people

    to have a chance to play because of the reduced incidence of taxation”. (RJ)

  22. John

    That reduction in Transfer tax came just in time!!

  23. John

    St Philip face-off

    Date June 22, 2007
    Brief St Philip face-off
    by Anmarie Bailey

    THE INCUMBENT and the challenger for St Philip North squared off at St Catherine’s Club on Wednesday night.

    Incumbent Michael Lashley of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), and Barbados Labour Party (BLP) challenger

    by ANMARIE BAILEY

    THE INCUMBENT and the challenger for St Philip North squared off at St Catherine’s Club on Wednesday night.

    Incumbent Michael Lashley of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), and Barbados Labour Party (BLP) challenger George Griffith debated hot topics, including housing, safety and security, a shortage of water and property ownership.

    Responding to an audience question regarding the availability and affordability of land for purchase and the questioner’s opinion that Government allowed too much land to be owned by foreigners, Griffith defended Government’s position of not limiting land ownership to Barbadian nationals.

    “The Government of Barbados has not sold land to any foreigners,” he emphatically stated.

    He defended people’s right to sell to whomever they chose. “The people who are selling land in Barbados are average Barbadians who sell land when the opportunity presents itself, to the best bidder.

    “What we have to do is to accept something called the right to self-determination, people’s fundamental rights and freedoms.”

    He then posed the question: “If you have a piece of land worth $100 000 and your neighbour wanted to pay you $105 000 for it and a foreigner offered you $1/2 million, what would you do? That is the question that Barbadians must answer.”

    Housing

    Griffith then highlighted some of the BLP Government’s initiatives to provide housing over the past years: “The Government, through the National Housing Corporation, has established a land bank and committed itself to providing low income lots for people; 100 per cent mortages below a certain threshold . . . all of these are incentives.”

    He also spoke of the co-operative movement, a movement which he said Government facilitated which provided financing for many Barbadians. He suggested those who said the BLP did nothing to provide affordable housing misrepresented the facts.

    In his response, Lashley asserted that the BLP Government did make amendments to the Property Transfer Act, which gave foreigners “the ability to purchase land more readily than the locals . . . the non-nationals have the ability with ready cash to purchase land; local buyers have difficulty because of the prices”.

    He then questioned Government’s land bank system, which was slated to provide affordable land to Barbadians, suggesting “to this date, we do not know how much land is in the land bank or how soon the land would be available”. He also asserted that Government’s amendments “allowed non-nationals to more readily buy land along the coastlines and along all other good areas of Barbados”.

    Lashley promised to introduce an Agriculture Protection Act to protect land allocation and ownership in Barbados.

    The issue of taking care of those who are less fortunate, in particular the elderly, was raised, and moderator Mac Fingall, president of St Catherine’s Club, asked each candidate to present his position.

    Pensions

    Griffith elaborated on what the BLP had done and would continue to do: “This Government has an impressive record protecting the poor. The Government has been consistently increasing pensions.”

    He explained that benefits could take different forms, and did not only mean giving actual dollar amounts.

    “When people talk of benefits they always think of actually cash in hand, they do not think of the free bus rides, free drugs, glasses, hearing aids, dentures – they do not think about home repair programmes, wells dug, houses rewired.

    “Part of what we do is to give not only cash, but we give what is equivalent to cash several times over, which is cash in kind.”

    He added: “The Prime Minister has said Government will continue to increase services and benefits to seniors.”

    Lashley responded the DLP “had a commitment to take care of all Barbadians in their senior years”, and promised to remove all income tax from pensions.

    As water pressure has been a concern for St Philip residents, Griffith said: “The Government of Barbados is very forward-thinking.

    “The engineers and planners are always looking to improve the availability to people,” and promised that if there was a persistent loss of water pressure, whether due to the new prison or not, “Government will put the necessary water mains in place”.

    He reminded those present that three weeks ago, “reservoir levels were low” but promised to monitor the situation and to speak to the appropriate ministry, especially as it relates to the new prison. (AB-B)

  24. John

    High land prices BLP’s fault, says Lashley

    Date March 18, 2007
    Brief Opposition parliamentarian Michael Lashley says Government policy is responsible for the sharp climb in land prices.
    Government opened the “floodgates” to spiralling land prices when it dropped a regulation making foreigners buying land pay a 10 per cent

    OPPOSITION PARLIAMENTARIAN Michael Lashley says Government policy is responsible for the sharp climb in land prices.

    Government opened the “floodgates” to spiralling land prices when it dropped a regulation making foreigners buying land pay a 10 per cent tax, Lashley said Friday.

    He was taking part in the debate in the House

    of Assembly on the Financial And Economic Policy Statement presented

    by Prime Minister Owen Arthur on Wednesday.

    The law originally required the vendor to pay a five per cent tax and non-nationals buying land to pay a ten per cent tax, according to Lashley.

    “The Government then got 15 per cent, Sir, in property transfer taxes,” he explained. “It (the legislation) indirectly controlled, discouraged and regulated the sale of land to non-nationals.

    “But in steps the Barbados Labour Party.

    In 1999, it increased the local vendor’s tax from five per cent to 10 per cent and abolished the foreign purchaser’s

    tax . . . .

    “So if you relieve the non-nationals of paying taxes in land transaction, what will happen? Our prime real estate land fell into the hands of non-nationals and the price of land skyrocketed.

    The change in regulations “allowed

    non-nationals . . . . who had ready cash to compete against Barbadians who had to apply to get a mortgage, to get cash to purchase the land. The floodgates were open.”

    Lashley said that under pressure from the opposition, the Government reduced the vendor’s tax from ten per cent to 7.5 per cent. (TY)

  25. John

    Sorry about all the posts. Just thought a revisit of the Transfer Tax issue was worthwhile.

    Hopefully I won’t take too many licks for all these posts.

    ************

    BFP says,

    Nope, you did it for a good reason John.

    And you do have some good will credit with us you know!

  26. John

    …. just one more tidbit, from another PM now departed this life but perhaps speaking to us from beyond the grave …….

    Wonder what the DLP will do about the rduction in Transfer Tax?

    Another PM – Exchange leakage

    Date June 02, 2005
    Brief

    by Peter Morgan

    A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO I expressed the view that the only benefit to the country, in terms of foreign exchange, from the sale of condominiums to foreigners was the actual purchase price paid.

    A friend, a professional man, hinted that I was naive to say so which prompted me to look into the matter further. I now confess I was wrong – not one cent reaches these shores from the sale of most of them and the revenues from taxes are minimalised.

    Here’s how it works. A person, local or foreign, forms a company incorporated in St Lucia called STL Ltd. That company establishes a company in Barbados called HIM Ltd. in which STL Ltd. is the sole shareholder. HIM Ltd. buys a parcel of land in Barbados on which it intends to erect a building containing, say, 50 condominiums. Having obtained the blessing of Town Planning, HIM Ltd. files a Condominium Declaration with the Registrar of Titles and so becomes the owner of all of the condominiums which will be built.

    However, HIM Ltd., does not develop the building in the usual way but causes it to be constructed under two separate building contracts. One is for the construction of the shell which is the outer walls, structural elements, roof and floors of each condominium in the building leaving the interiors unfinished.

    STL Ltd. sets up a separate company for each one of the 50 unfinished condominiums in, say, the British Virgin Islands and owns all the shares in each company. One, for example, is called BVI Ltd and this is registered as an “external company” in Barbados which entitles it to buy and own real estate in Barbados without having to obtain Central Bank permission.

    HIM Ltd. sells one of the condominiums to BVI Ltd. in its unfinished state. The aim is to minimise the amount of corporation tax which HIM Ltd. will have to pay for carrying out the development by making the sales of each condo in its unfinished, and therefore much cheaper, state.

    BVI Ltd. contracts with a builder to finish the construction of the condominium and decides on the final selling price which is openly advertised at the total price.

    The stamp duty and property transfer tax are minimised by HIM Ltd. paying them based on the unfinished selling price of the condo. Someone from North America or Europe buys the shares in BVI Ltd, and so acquires the condo paying no stamp duty or property transfer tax.

    Remember that STL Ltd. owned BVI Ltd. and the transaction takes place in Tortola so not one cent of the purchase price reaches Barbados. The new owner acquires the property in Barbados without having to obtain permission of the Central Bank and can sell to anyone else without paying any stamp duty or property transfer tax.

    This wheeling and dealing is apparently quite legal. One real estate company states in its published material: “The main advantage of this structure of ownership is the fact that on a future sale of the corporate vehicle through which the freehold is owned, property transfer tax and stamp duty will not be payable based on the legislation and current practice of the relevant authorities in Barbados.

    “This is to be contrasted with the situation where the freehold is registered in the name of the individual purchaser.”

    So what does all this mean in practical terms? Permission has been granted for about 200 new condominiums off the West Coast. Let’s say the average pre-construction price is US$500 000, this means that about US$100 million in foreign exchange which ought to be paid into banks here for the purchase of property in Barbados never reaches these shores. Far less property transfer tax and stamp duty that is due ever reaches the Treasury.

    A similar formula is used in the sale of town house and luxury villa developments so that the loss of foreign exchange to this country is even higher than that by several multiples.

    We are told that the country needs more foreign exchange so how can this be allowed to happen? The professional people – lawyers, chartered accounts, bankers – know all about it but they have clients to advise about how to get the most profitable deal.

    However, the professional people in the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank must know, too. So why are these manoeuvres, greatly to the disadvantage of this country, allowed to continue?

    If any of the above statements are incorrect I would welcome a clarification. If not, I believe the public is entitled to an explanation.

    Peter Morgan is a former Minister of Tourism in a Democratic Labour Party Administration.

  27. Fairplay

    No Problem ,one tsunami and condos gone. The rate of global warming will put the west coast under pressure soon.

  28. Duppy Lizard

    I heard about the sale back in January, I wasn’t surprised as there were never many customers – not like the outlet across from Accra. It seems the entire world has gone condo crazy, just like house prices. I certainly hope someone is paying attention to the demise of real estate in the U.S. and Spain. Why doesn’t someone do something about the number of derelict buildings in Bridgetown?

  29. Rumplestilskin

    May I suggest that as it is clear that condos do not offer an extended multiplier effect in the economy such as the hotels do, that there be a ‘services tax’ specifically on condos, basis e.g. square footage, to be decided.

    This tax is to cover non-national use of national expenditures such as use of roads, emergency services, water usage etc.

    This is a justifiable and fair tax, based on the issue that everyone should pay for their use of national services.

    Locals pay in their tax and indirect tax. This ‘services tax’ on condos would address the current imbalance.

  30. John

    Check Peter Morgan’s article on what happens with taxes on the big bucks!!

  31. Carlos Chase

    Quite a lot of naive and uninformed comments. It is clear that you lot should keep your noses out of business matters and stick to gossiping about who is sleeping with who.

    🙂

    LOL!

  32. Carlos Chase

    Peter Morgan: “So what does all this mean in practical terms? Permission has been granted for about 200 new condominiums off the West Coast. Let’s say the average pre-construction price is US$500 000, this means that about US$100 million in foreign exchange which ought to be paid into banks here for the purchase of property in Barbados never reaches these shores. Far less property transfer tax and stamp duty that is due ever reaches the Treasury.”

    ****

    Peter Morgan’s premise is nonsense, much like the rest of the rubbish being spewed by you backward-thinking lot.

    Economy benefits from condominiums don’t stop at the moment of sale. There is more to business than property transfer tax and stamp duty.

    Note that he wrote it in 2005… when his DLP party was in opposition. That alone is sufficient reason to dismiss it for what it is.

    ******************

    BFP says,

    But Carlos, what about the quality of life and social impact issues?

  33. BFP

    BFP says,

    But Carlos, what about the quality of life and social impact issues?

  34. Adrian Loveridge

    Just stop and look at the facts for a moment,,,,

    Between 2002 and 2004, people directly employed in the tourism sector fell by 2,000. Down from 14,200 to 12,200.

    Over the last 15 years, a staggering 27 hotels have closed or been converted into condominiums,
    Sandridge will make it 28.

    I am not against condominiums, but I am against where they are being built.

    Look at the premature demolition of Dover Convention Centre, then using taxpayer (GEMS) owned land to build private sector condos completely obliterating a window to the sea.

    All the talk about a study of the condo impact and ‘that the jury is still out’ was just another cloud of hot air and graphic example of how badly our tourism sector has been managed over the last 14 years.

    It has to change!

  35. Carlos Chase

    BFP
    April 3, 2008 at 7:10 am

    BFP says,

    But Carlos, what about the quality of life and social impact issues?

    ****

    What quality of life issues? What social impact issues?

    The replacement of a Chefette restaurant at Holetown by a condominium has absolutely NO IMPACT WHATSOEVER on the quality of life of anybody in Barbados. (Unless you live or work nearby and you are going to lose the convenience of having a Chefette restaurant nearby. Tough luck… catch a bus or drive to the next nearest one.)

    Enough of the empty moaning already. Most of the comments on this issue are the typical mouthings from empty minds and empty pockets.

  36. Banned

    Carlos Chase

    Deserves a clap on the snout.

  37. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    Carlos – What utter nonsense you spout. “…NO IMPACT WHATSOEVER on the quality of life of anybody in Barbados?” “…typical mouthings from empty minds and empty pockets.”

    I’ve seen you driving around in your pick-up truck spewing diesel fumes with your mobile stuck to your ear supervising all your building sites and smirking at the rest of us stuck behind your trucks that mash-up our roads so you can play polo.

  38. Rumplestilskin

    Carlos Chase ”Note that he wrote it in 2005… when his DLP party was in opposition. That alone is sufficient reason to dismiss it for what it is.”

    To use your phrase, that statement alone is enough to dismiss your objection to views here as biased and self serving.

    If, as you clearly indicate that your opinion is, that any statements that members of the Opposition make are to be ignored, then you are well reflective of the outlook of some of the previous MP’s, who have been sent along their way by the voters at the last election.

    ANY rational trained economist or finance person will acknowledge that condos by their nature cannot and do not have the same inherent product structure as hotels and also do not have the same economic multiplier on the economy because of that business structure.

    Thus, the change of our room base from hotels to condos is not beneficial to the economy.

    Secondly, it is true that the main ‘winners’ from condos are the initial developers, who in Barbados stand to walk away with a good tidy sum and have been doing so.

    Sure the real estate managers may derive some income, along with their staff.

    But this in no way compares to the income that hotels pull in. Absolutely incomparable.

    Having said that, I much prefer non-national owners to have condos going up into the air than freehold houses taking up much more valauable land per unit.

    However, the discussion on this specific post is related to the economics.

    That said, much of the transfer of properties to foreign nationals, whether by locals or by other non-nationals does not result in all of the funds being transferred through Barbados.

    That cannot be disputed. So, which part of Peter Morgan’s article do you object to specifically?

    You refer to empty minds, but you yourself do not bring reasoned and explained critique of Peter Morgan’s article, your resort to insult.

    In debate, the recluse of the empty mind is the insult.

    As for your condescending remark referring to empty pockets, sure many of us may not be wealthy, but does that make us citizens any less, or would you reverrt back to days when only the ‘monied class’ had a say in how things are run?

    By your writings…..

  39. bp

    A “Mr. Desmond” bought the property. Hmm, same surname as one of the owners of Sandy Lane. Maybe a brother. The price was $42 million. The Regent next door was also bought (for $40 million). What is interesting is that the Cheffette property is the only piece of land between Batts Rock and Road View that has Jetty Rights, that is to say, the old jetty mentioned in the Ossie Moore post can be rebuilt.

  40. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    Carlos – Sorry I misspoke. My last entry should read, “…I’ve seen you driving around in your pick-up truck spewing diesel fumes with your mobile stuck to your ear supervising all your master’s building sites and smirking at the rest of us stuck behind your master’s trucks that mash-up our roads so you can prove your loyalty and get to touch the garments of the real truck owners who play polo.

  41. Rumplestilskin

    bp: Interesting, maybe then a private berthing area?

    Further to my above post, and pending my other post which is in moderation. I reiterate that consideration demands a special land tax for condos and when thought out, probably all non-national owners based on the fairness of the incidence of tax, based on use and other tax bases.

    This should be implemented immediately.

    This will ensure that some tax dollars are paid into the treasury by those owners, including companies, located overseas.

  42. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    If we don’t stop the unrestricted building madness (otherwise known as “Rape of Barbados”) we too will soon be paying $16 a gallon for petrol and $100 to enter Bridgetown.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-congestion3apr03,0,5476674.story

  43. Rumplestilskin

    Adrian noted above”Look at the premature demolition of Dover Convention Centre, then using taxpayer (GEMS) owned land to build private sector condos completely obliterating a window to the sea”

    Yes, THAT issue also brings other considerations.

    Absolutely mindboggling the way that occurred.

    Who exactly was this land sold or leased to.

    I did not see the invitation to tender in the newspaper, did any of you other citizens?

    Ho, hum….

  44. Natural Mystic

    John nailed it.
    Government must move close this loophole today.
    Our country is being raped. These are our best years, but it does not last forever- the land is not infinite.
    We’ll have no one to blame if we finish this run with debt and empty pockets. Peter Morgan wrote these things during his last days. Since he was a counsellor of Errol Barrow one must expect David Thompson, who was the St. John designate by Mr. Barrow himself, and now has the power, to note this and to act.
    This is not chicken feed, and not just our taxes, but these are our foreign exchange reserves we are referring to!

  45. degap

    “Say it aint so girlie!”

    As a frequent customer, I’ll definitely miss the Holetown Chefette. It was more of a Bajan Yankee/local hangout spot. Cooling yourself down with a strawberry milkshake or a few scoops of coconut ice cream while watching the sunset on the horizon was pure joy. However, the emergence of some unsavory characters and drug dealers looking for easy scores have taken away from the ambience, so I’m not surprised that business has suffered. It’s also good to see that Chefette is not going to layoff any of the workers. Other employers should take note. Corporate Social Responsibility people…

  46. Carlos Chase

    Brainless goats, and Adrian Loverige is another clown.

    “Over the last 15 years, a staggering 27 hotels have closed or been converted into condominiums,
    Sandridge will make it 28.”

    1. What were the NAMES of each of those hotels, the locations and the room stock?

    What was the total number of hotels and rooms in Barbados 15 years ago and what are the numbers today?

    What were the total number of visitor arrivals to Barbados 15 years ago and what are the numbers today?

    And why have you singled out the past 15 years?

    You like to tell a lot of LIES, Loveridge, but your days of fooling people in Barbados are over.

    Next time you open your snout make sure that you don’t come with you idiotic political crap.

    **************

    BFP says,

    First of all Mr. Chase…. Watch your language and your manners or you will be banned.

    You appear to be new around here so we will cut you some slack, but not too much.

    Second, you are not the first person to ask Mr. Loveridge to justify his statements but I suspect you are about to see him do exactly that.

    Watch out your mout!

    Auntie Moses

  47. Carlos Chase

    bp
    April 3, 2008 at 9:33 am

    What is interesting is that the Cheffette property is the only piece of land between Batts Rock and Road View that has Jetty Rights, that is to say, the old jetty mentioned in the Ossie Moore post can be rebuilt.

    ****

    More crap. And who issues “jetty rights” in Barbados? Not the government? The same government that can issue jetty rights tomorrow for any other spot of land anywhere else on the Barbados coastline as the need arises.

    Do you have a brain at all?

    What a fool!

  48. Brutus

    John, re the Peter Morgan article:

    “We are told that the country needs more foreign exchange so how can this be allowed to happen? The professional people – lawyers, chartered accounts, bankers – know all about it but they have clients to advise about how to get the most profitable deal.

    However, the professional people in the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank must know, too. So why are these manoeuvres, greatly to the disadvantage of this country, allowed to continue?”

    The lawyers that come up with these tax strategies include the QC’s and the best legal brains in Barbados. I am sure that some of the lawyers in the current and previous governments have been involved in such transactions and know that this is a big loophole. It will take the same legal luminaries to plug the loopholes – the professionals in the Ministry and the Central Bank can only enforce what the law says.

    Perhaps the law should be changed to say that if there is change in the beneficial ownership of property the transfer tax would immediately become payable. This would apply whether regardless of where in the world the change in beneficial ownership occurs. Lawyers, accountants and bankers should be required to report changes in beneficial ownership to the relevant government authority.

    For certain properties, a professional valuation should be mandatory on change in beneficial ownership. This would reduce the incentive for the legal luminaries to advise their clients to declare a vastly understated property value for purposes of the transfer tax, while consummating the sale offshore at the real fair value.

    On top of all this, town planning or the Minister responsible should impose restrictions on new beach front developments. This would include maintaining windows to the sea, access for locals, and prohibiting condominuim developments, including condominium hotels. The legislation for this already exists, as it was rushed through by the BLP late last year.

  49. banned

    Please do not forget that the present PM did very well for himself when he was last in power, through the sale of West Coast properties (which included the development of a major golf course). Incidentally there is a major mimi-bus owner as well as a major off-shore bank manager as well as about sixteen lawyers whose careers are tied to the sale of land and the protection of business interests in this neck of the woods, who form our Governong party. THERE WILL BE NO CHANGING OF ANYTHING.

  50. Carlos Chase

    Rumplestilskin
    April 3, 2008 at 9:21 am

    “ANY rational trained economist or finance person will acknowledge that condos by their nature cannot and do not have the same inherent product structure as hotels and also do not have the same economic multiplier on the economy because of that business structure.”

    Is Chefette a hotel?

    Any rational trained economist or finance person will also tell you that people are free to invest their money in whatever financial ventures they wish, you dummy. Common sense would tell you that if the trend is to go with condominiums, there must be some financial benefit in it for the investors.

    If you want “windows to the sea”, you can go and build your own hotel in St. Thomas or St. George you numskull.

    Why doesn’t Adrian Loveridge move his Peach and Quiet Hotel from the seaside since he is so self-righteous about “windows to the sea”?

  51. Carlos Chase

    Adrian Loveridge
    April 3, 2008 at 8:34 am

    “Look at the premature demolition of Dover Convention Centre, then using taxpayer (GEMS) owned land to build private sector condos completely obliterating a window to the sea.”

    Rubbish. Was the Dover Convention Centre made out of see-through glass?

    Is there still a PUBLIC BEACH in that area or not?

    Clown!

  52. John

    … Carlos seems to be rather agitated.

    *************

    BFP say,

    I tink Carlos has just ’bout earned hisn ticky!

    What say all?

  53. banned

    This moderation thing, royal pain

    *************

    BFP says,

    Hey banned, I can’t remember if you were banned or what for… so let me see if I can fix you up ‘long as you play nicely wit de other childrens!

    OK… back now and I can’t see why you is getting caught in the spam filter. IP is not listed, banned word is not listed so i dunno!

    Suggest you clear any “wordpress” cookies and your cache. Sometime that help out.

  54. PiedPiper

    Barbados 2020: What is occurring in B’dos is the insidious evolution of modern day slavery. Within the next decade, nearly all the valuable beachfront property and a 1/2 mile across from the beaches will be owned by wealthy white foreigners. Bajans will be forced to move ever more inland and the only time they will see the natural beauty of their island will be when they go to their jobs “serving” the wealthy white foreigners. Food prices will rise even higher as the food industry – importers, distributers and supermarkets will cater ever more to the wealthy white foreigners who can afford the exorbitant prices.
    Let us not forget the history of Cuba and why and how The Revolution took place. I see history repeating itself here the seeds of unrest and dissention will only grow unless the government intervenes and introduces new legislation to prevent the wholesale rape of Barbados and it’s people.

  55. happy

    Food for thought….
    Most visitors l’ve had & ones ‘ have talked too…would rather rent a nice new Villa on the West Coast @ half the price per night that the Hotels built in the ’50’s & 60’s charge….(not rocket science)
    They rent cars, buy gas, purchase food….eat at Barbados eateries…ergo put lots of cash back into the local economy….
    Question to the others posting….how many of the foreign owned hotels leave their profits on this Island…
    As too the poster chatting about the offshore hold Co’s for these new developments…that model is being phased out as most new purchasers are not interested in that form of set up…it was the vehicle in the past…but with the crackdown from major jurisdictions around the world…it has become a major hurdle for purchasers to look at.

  56. Natural Mystic

    When one refers to the ‘rape’ of Barbados one is not necessarily refering to the sale of properties to one person or another.

    It is the way the money that is due the tax collectors, and the money that should come to the Central Bank, is being witheld from us. This is being done by persons of all complections and nationalities.

    Condo builders are using this as a way to move cash out of Barbados, and this loophole must be closed by the honourable Prime Minister, as our debt and foreign exchange reserves dictate our stability and our ability to provide ways and means to aleviate any poverty that we have or may have in the future.

    We must grow stronger and more financially independant as a country. This is a hard era, today’s world. Only the strong and wise ones will in the end be uplifted. Do it for country.

  57. Banned

    BFP say,
    I tink Carlos has just ’bout earned hisn ticky!
    What say all?

    I like’s Carlos. The man’s got attitude, not much else. He’ll work you up, that’s got to be a good thing. And he’ll cuss you too… and that is just downright Bajan

  58. rumboy

    Once again we will lose a window to the sea to foreigners. Another block of concrete which will stay empty as it really is only a tax break. Will this ever end.

  59. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: “Chefette” Sells

  60. degap

    If I understand Peter Morgan correctly, 50 shell companies would have to be created to unload a 50 unit condo. Only the willfully blind would not see this racket for what it is, so the problem isn’t new laws, but the people charged with enforcing the current laws.

  61. Hants

    The majority of Barbadians will only have access to the West Coast as maids,gardeners and other hotel workers.

    Prehaps the younger generation will have the “beach” weaned out of their psyche and the new norm will be playing video games and dub concerts.

    Going to the beach will mean just that. The East coast beach where you can’t swim most of the year.

    One way we can save windows to the sea is if by referendum Barbadians vote to exclude Paynes Bay below the Methodist Church and Weston Fish Market,John Moore’s Bar from future developement and have this legislated.

    There are other places like River Bay,Cove Bay and Bathsheba that should be reserved for the public.

    Those of us over 50 have to accept that they are people in their teens ,20s and 30s and even older who do not care about anything other than making money as evidenced by comments by some people on this blog.

    Prehaps we will get used to modern 1st world Barbados with its Miami Beach Front.

  62. Hants

    While I await moderation??? I would like to suggest that with a continuing building boom, Barbados will have more “new bajans” who are
    coming from countries where there are mostly windows to the river.

    As they integrate “seperately” into our society, they are likely to be more concerned with making money than preserving windows to the sea or anything else that we grew up with.

  63. Citizen First

    As we consider this issue of the sale of land to “foreigners” please read the following

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article?id=161300864

    Note that I put the word foreigners in inverted commas because in this time of CSME I am not sure if Trinidadians and other Carcom nationals would be considered as such.

    Note also that Tobago has a Foreign Investment Act which institutes a licensing regime for foreigners to purchase land there.

    Mr Haloute is reported as saying that the purchaser and the amount paid for the land at Holetown is to be kept secret. This suggests that the sale is not for land per se but probably for shares in a foreign registered company which owns the land. Such a transaction would deprive the Government of the 2.5% transfer tax and the 1% stamp duty not to mention any foreign exchange earned.

    Please note that on page 28 (bottom left corner) of the 2008 manifesto of the Democratic Labour Party it is proposed that:

    “e) Exchange controls will be removed on property transactions between non-residents including those who are on work permits who should be designated as non-resident for exchange control purposes.”

    It is noted that the manifesto proposes that in the first 100 days, an “Agriculture Protection Act” for change of use applications involving agricultural land would be enacted.

  64. Brutus

    Degap, what in the current law prevents the practices described by Peter Morgan?

  65. Citizen First

    As my comment waits moderation, please read page 28, bottom left corner, of the DLP 2008 manifesto.

  66. peltdownman

    Happy
    You are wrong to think that these condos will be occupied by anyone for more than a couple of weeks in a year.

    Pied Piper
    Rich white foreigners will no longer wish to come to Barbados, because we have destroyed the very things that they come for. There are still plenty of relatively undeveloped and beautiful places in the world, and where money is no object, they will soon be moving there instead.

    BFB
    Don’t ban Carlos, please. He is so good at hoisting himself on his own petard! What I enjoy about him is the absolute proof that people exist in this country who care not one hoot about it, so long as they make money. After all, they can slip off to Canada when things go brown.

  67. Citizen First

    Also of interest may be the following

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article?id=161300864

    note Tobago has a licensing regime for foreign buyers of land. In this time of CSME would Trinidadians be considered foreign in B’dos?

  68. John

    The whole problem is that Owen Arthur’s statement that in order to pay the bills land has to be sold off is true!!

    We do not use our land in a way that can support the lifestyles to which we have become accustomed.

    We have abused it.

    I came across a passage in the Bible relating to this same situation, more by accident than design as I don’t read it as much as I could, or should!! Will try and see if I can find it again.

    Our lifestyle is not supportable nor is it made sustainable by what we actually do. It is supported for the moment by land sales and offshore companies.

    I suspect we have been hooked like any drug or gambling addict gets hooked and our end is predetermined.

    … one thing the villains haven’t planned on is water!!

    It is interesting RBTT sold out to RBC. Will see what comes of this.

  69. Natural Mystic

    In Peter Morgan’s column (several years ago now, when he was with us) he stated that this practice was all perfectly legal, and he recommended that the loophole be closed. I have not been successful in locating this column from the archives, but I remember his plea very well, because I couldn’t believe that such things could be legal in Barbados.

    Guess he figured he was not going to be around much longer, and wanted Barbados to fix something that he knew had been wrong for a long time. Will we fix it? We can if we wish.

  70. Tell me Why

    Why ban Carlos who has the guts and attitude to debate issues with logic. Even if he call someone a clown or brainless goat, that behaviour is not as insulting as certain commenters who disrespect officials in high offices. Based on my sentiments, I can see serious double standards. I love the tenacity of Carlos debating.

  71. bp

    Carlos Chase
    April 3, 2008 at 12:03 pm
    re: bp
    April 3, 2008 at 9:33 am

    There was once a jetty there and there is still permission on the title deed for a jetty. Fool.

  72. Natural Mystic

    Here you go:
    http://bararchive.bits.baseview.com/archive_detail.pharchiveFile=./pubfiles/bar/archive/2005/June/02/Editorial/3295.xml&start=40&numPer=20&keyword=Peter+Morgan&sectionSearch=&begindate=1%2F1%2F1994&enddate=12%2F31%2F2008&authorSearch=&IncludeStories=1&pubsection=&page=&IncludePages=1&IncludeImages=1&mode=allwords&archive_pubname=Daily+Nation%09%09%09

    Another PM – Exchange leakage

    Date June 02, 2005
    Brief

    by Peter Morgan

    A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO I expressed the view that the only benefit to the country, in terms of foreign exchange, from the sale of condominiums to foreigners was the actual purchase price paid.

    A friend, a professional man, hinted that I was naive to say so which prompted me to look into the matter further. I now confess I was wrong – not one cent reaches these shores from the sale of most of them and the revenues from taxes are minimalised.

    Here’s how it works. A person, local or foreign, forms a company incorporated in St Lucia called STL Ltd. That company establishes a company in Barbados called HIM Ltd. in which STL Ltd. is the sole shareholder. HIM Ltd. buys a parcel of land in Barbados on which it intends to erect a building containing, say, 50 condominiums. Having obtained the blessing of Town Planning, HIM Ltd. files a Condominium Declaration with the Registrar of Titles and so becomes the owner of all of the condominiums which will be built.

    However, HIM Ltd., does not develop the building in the usual way but causes it to be constructed under two separate building contracts. One is for the construction of the shell which is the outer walls, structural elements, roof and floors of each condominium in the building leaving the interiors unfinished.

    STL Ltd. sets up a separate company for each one of the 50 unfinished condominiums in, say, the British Virgin Islands and owns all the shares in each company. One, for example, is called BVI Ltd and this is registered as an “external company” in Barbados which entitles it to buy and own real estate in Barbados without having to obtain Central Bank permission.

    HIM Ltd. sells one of the condominiums to BVI Ltd. in its unfinished state. The aim is to minimise the amount of corporation tax which HIM Ltd. will have to pay for carrying out the development by making the sales of each condo in its unfinished, and therefore much cheaper, state.

    BVI Ltd. contracts with a builder to finish the construction of the condominium and decides on the final selling price which is openly advertised at the total price.

    The stamp duty and property transfer tax are minimised by HIM Ltd. paying them based on the unfinished selling price of the condo. Someone from North America or Europe buys the shares in BVI Ltd, and so acquires the condo paying no stamp duty or property transfer tax.

    Remember that STL Ltd. owned BVI Ltd. and the transaction takes place in Tortola so not one cent of the purchase price reaches Barbados. The new owner acquires the property in Barbados without having to obtain permission of the Central Bank and can sell to anyone else without paying any stamp duty or property transfer tax.

    This wheeling and dealing is apparently quite legal. One real estate company states in its published material: “The main advantage of this structure of ownership is the fact that on a future sale of the corporate vehicle through which the freehold is owned, property transfer tax and stamp duty will not be payable based on the legislation and current practice of the relevant authorities in Barbados.

    “This is to be contrasted with the situation where the freehold is registered in the name of the individual purchaser.”

    So what does all this mean in practical terms? Permission has been granted for about 200 new condominiums off the West Coast. Let’s say the average pre-construction price is US$500 000, this means that about US$100 million in foreign exchange which ought to be paid into banks here for the purchase of property in Barbados never reaches these shores. Far less property transfer tax and stamp duty that is due ever reaches the Treasury.

    A similar formula is used in the sale of town house and luxury villa developments so that the loss of foreign exchange to this country is even higher than that by several multiples.

    We are told that the country needs more foreign exchange so how can this be allowed to happen? The professional people – lawyers, chartered accounts, bankers – know all about it but they have clients to advise about how to get the most profitable deal.

    However, the professional people in the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank must know, too. So why are these manoeuvres, greatly to the disadvantage of this country, allowed to continue?

    If any of the above statements are incorrect I would welcome a clarification. If not, I believe the public is entitled to an explanation.

    Peter Morgan is a former Minister of Tourism in a Democratic Labour Party Administration.

  73. Natural Mystic

    Part 2:http://bararchive.bits.baseview.com/archive_detail.php?archiveFile=./pubfiles/bar/archive/2005/June/16/Editorial/3939.xml&start=40&numPer=20&keyword=Peter+Morgan&sectionSearch=&begindate=1%2F1%2F1994&enddate=12%2F31%2F2008&authorSearch=&IncludeStories=1&pubsection=&page=&IncludePages=1&IncludeImages=1&mode=allwords&archive_pubname=Daily+Nation%09%09%09

    Another PM – An exchange puzzle

    Date June 16, 2005
    Brief

    BY PETER MORGAN

    TWO WEEKS AGO this column drew attention to the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign exchange which ought to have been paid into banks in Barbados for the purchase of property in Barbados never reached these shores.

    There has been more response to this article from a wide cross-section of the public than to any other I have ever written. Those responses have ranged from “I find it hard to believe” . . . to “Man, that’s common knowledge”.

    Today I propose to mention a few of the comments and suggestions received.

    It was pointed out that it is most unlikely that a foreign purchaser would have any preference as to where he paid his money – Barbados or Timbuktu – as long as he got what he was paying for. Therefore it must be at the wish of the vendor that the money is paid somewhere other than Barbados. It was suggested that this was because

    of the system of exchange control which Barbados necessarily imposes.

    Local people with surplus funds wish to get their money out of Barbados to hedge against devaluation, to invest elsewhere, or to avoid taxation. The Central Bank has undertaken to try and eliminate exchange controls by the end of this year but, whether or not that makes any difference for the future, it will not recoup the huge exchange losses which have already taken place.

    The local banks have had a policy of “know your customer” for some years, which is supposed to deter money laundering. Yet hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested from overseas in property in Barbados, and neither the commercial banks nor the Central Bank have the least idea of whether it is laundered money or not for it never passes through their hands, nor is the latter ever asked for permission.

    Even the people who purchase the property don’t necessarily set foot in the island. We claim that our international financial services regime is squeaky clean but maybe we could even be the prime laundromat of the Caribbean – perhaps that statement will wring a response from someone in authority!

    The sale of real estate to foreign ownership without any benefit to Barbados is only part of the story. Barbados loses foreign exchange on account of the imported materials for the construction, fittings and furnishings which are needed for every condominium, town house or luxury villa which is then sold to a non-national by means of payment overseas.

    Then there was an interesting suggestion from a visiting expert who had no idea, I am sure, that this subject was under current discussion. Professor Avinash Persaud, addressing the National Insurance Board, was of the view that “the fear that Barbadian lands could be sold out of the hands of its citizens could be solved by restricting

    non-residents to long land leases instead of selling them property”. I am sure that has far-reaching ramifications and, in any case, the situation has probably already gone too far for a long lease regime to be effective. The stable door would be closed long after the horse had bolted.

    One correspondent put a question to me which I am unable to answer. The question, which seems eminently reasonable, was: Is there a provision in Barbados law

    which enables a company incorporated outside of Barbados, all of whose shareholders are residents outside of Barbados, to acquire and hold land and other property in Barbados without obtaining the permission of the Central Bank of Barbados?

    My enquiries indicate that one possibility is that a company incorporated outside Barbados which simply registers itself in the Barbados Companies Register under the Barbados Companies Act is regarded as a resident of Barbados. Therefore, like all other Barbados citizens resident in Barbados, such a company does not require Central Bank permission to acquire and hold land and property in Barbados, in spite of the fact that all its shares are owned by non-residents of Barbados. Somehow this explanation seems too facile.

    So I’ve heard from a wide cross-section of the community. Unfortunately, the only people who have not responded to these concerns are the ones who have the answers.

    It is to be hoped that the Ministry of Finance or the Central Bank will soon choose to clarify these matters and explain why, having expressed serious concern about our foreign exchange balances, they have allowed, and still allow, many millions of dollars of property in Barbados to be sold out to non-nationals without benefit, even at a loss, to the national coffers.

    Peter Morgan is a former Minister of Tourism in a previous Democratic Labour Party Administration.

  74. degap

    Brutus,

    I’m operating under the presumption that Peter Morgan was correct, so anyone seeing 50 different sales to 50 different “corporations” would see it for what it is, a racket. A little due diligence is all that would be required to nip this in the bud.

  75. Hants

    “Mr Haloute is reported as saying that the purchaser and the amount paid for the land at Holetown is to be kept SECRET.”
    Exactly what are they hiding?

    This is worth discussing.

    The sale, value and ownership of all land in Barbados should be available for public scrutiny.

    It is not a car they selling. Land and its use impacts on the entire society.

  76. Wishing in Vain

    My information suggest the following that the property owners bought the property next door for $ 43 million and when the approached Haloute with an offer he suggested if they paid him a million dollars more than they paid for the property next door he would sell to them, now we are hearing that a sale has taken place so I am left to believe that the request was met.

  77. no name

    Carlos Chase said, among other things,

    “you lot should keep your noses out of business matters” ,

    “Most of the comments on this issue are the typical mouthings from empty minds and empty pockets”.

    Mr. Chase you are obviously new to this blog. You should have done your homework first.

  78. John

    Hants
    April 3, 2008 at 5:47 pm
    “Mr Haloute is reported as saying that the purchaser and the amount paid for the land at Holetown is to be kept SECRET.”
    Exactly what are they hiding?

    This is worth discussing.

    The sale, value and ownership of all land in Barbados should be available for public scrutiny.

    It is not a car they selling. Land and its use impacts on the entire society
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If the value is a secret, how can the GOB collect tax?

    Transfer Tax is 2.5% of ???????? = ????????????

  79. John

    … the crazy thing is that the same tax which seems to be a secret would, if it were known, be available to use to ensure the new owner has the infrastructure available to ensure he/she/it did not buy a pig in a poke!!

  80. John

    …. quite apart from benefitting the rest of us “empty minded” “nosey” people who don’t understand how business works!!

  81. Wishing in Vain

    The only reason for not declaring a value is maybe the transfer was to be done offshore and the full value of the sale not decleared in an effort to avoid the full effect of transfer tax.

  82. no name

    John said “…. quite apart from benefitting the rest of us “empty minded” “nosey” people who don’t understand how business works!!”

    Carlos Chase says it is not only our minds that are empty but our pockets too. Guess he must have a full mind and full pocket. How do you suppose he managed that? Hard work?

    Carlos Chase do enlighten us as to how you got a full mind and pocket?

  83. The Truth

    Does Elis Haloute own Cheffette ???

  84. no name

    “None of the Haloutes nor legal representatives would disclose the sale price or the purchaser, explaining that there was
    a clause in the transaction that tied them to secrecy”.

    Anyone know who are the legal representatives in this deal?

  85. Donald Duck, Esq

    Noted below ios an extract from the 2007 financial statement presented by then Minister of Finance Owen Arthur. I believe that will explain alot of the issues noted above.

    Property transfer tax
    Mr. Speaker, I wish now to turn to the matter of property transfer tax. I have previously stated that it is my intention to bring our tax rates in line
    with the best rates now obtaining in Caricom and in April 2004, I reduced the property transfer tax from 10% to 7.5% Subsequently, representation has been made that this rate is still too high and that it contributes to persons establishing offshore structures in an effort to evade and avoid the incidence of tax. Accordingly, a Committee was set
    up of public and private sector persons to review the property Transfer Tax. The Committee found that there were two main reasons why persons were setting up offshore corporate vehicle to own property in Barbados. One was the rate of property transfer tax and the other was the difficulty which investors perceived to be the case in repatriating profits once the property was sold. The Committee therefore recommended that the rate of tax be reduced from 7.5 to 2.5% and that there should be no restrictions on the repatriation of the proceeds of sale of a property owned by a non-resident, once the sale was to another non-resident and there was no net foreign exchange loss to the country. It was felt that these adjustments would stop the leakage of revenue that occurred when
    transactions involving the sale of property were done offshore and at the same time reduce the cost of land and property transactions in general for Barbadians at home by reducing the rate. A reduction in the cost of land transactions could reduce the cost of acquisition of property.
    I have accepted the recommendations of the Committee and with effect from income year 2007, the rate of property transfer tax will be 2.5%. In addition where the sale of property by a non resident is to another nonresident and there is no net foreign exchange loss to the country, the
    proceeds of sale can be repatriated without restrictions. This reduction in the Property Transfer Tax rate is expected to cost the Treasury $39.2 million, based on the collection in 2005/2006, but it is expected that there
    will be additional transactions to offset this revenue loss. The situation will be kept under review to ensure that it achieves its desired results.

  86. PiedPiper

    Doctor Carlos Chase?

  87. victor

    What’s the point of ranting on about foreigners ruining (“raped twice by Europe.” Please!) the island when locals mindlessly litter away big time? That littering is symbolic of the general attitude. Without local connivance in property deals none of this destruction of the beauty of the coastline could happen. Preserving the beauty of Barbados should be inculcated in each and every child from school age. Barbados is a democracy and everyone has a vote. If the government is corrupt, vote against it. In such a small population everyone should be mobilised to preserve this beautiful island.

  88. Carlos Chase

    peltdownman
    April 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    “BFB
    Don’t ban Carlos, please. He is so good at hoisting himself on his own petard! What I enjoy about him is the absolute proof that people exist in this country who care not one hoot about it, so long as they make money. After all, they can slip off to Canada when things go brown.”

    Another load of rubbish. The simple fact is… quite a lot of the other loudmouths here who share your views have themselves slipped out of Barbados several years ago.

    Barbados today is the beautiful gem which we have created it to be… no thanks to the empty minds and empty pockets of you despicable and useless lot.

    Most of you sour whiners spent your productive years either wasting whatever money you had on four and five women (not to mention supporting children who are really not your own), or pumping all your efforts into getting a green card or the Canadian equivalent so that you could prop up someone else’s economy and provide cheap black labour for North Americans. The first set are louts and the second set are spineless cowards.

    Those of us who stood firm and built this country and beaming with pride at what we have achieved.

    Consider yourselves fortunate to be educated… it’s not every day that riff-raff like you miserable and clueless lot get the opportunity to be blessed with the presence of the Bajan professional elite. There are thousands of us in Barbados and we know that success comes from dint of hard work. You lazy bums can spend the rest of your days whining while we labour on and enjoy the sweet fruits of our labour in the land of our birth.

  89. Carlos Chase

    You people are real dunces.

    When the man said that the price will be kept secret, he meant secret from the media.

    Which he has every right to do, just like anybody else in Barbados who reserves the right to keep to themselves the price of the car or house or land they sold to John Doe last week. Or to put it in a context you lot can relate to… it’s none of anyone else’s business how much money you give your “child mothers” or your associates from Bush Hill and Nelson St.

  90. Hants

    “In addition where the sale of property by a non resident is to another nonresident and there is no net foreign exchange loss to the country, the
    proceeds of sale can be repatriated without restrictions.”

    So Mr.England bought a property 20 years ago for $1million dollars. he sells it in 2005 to Mr.canada for $20million dollars.
    Does this mean that Barbados gets 2.5% and Mr.England can take his $19million dollar “profit” to England.

    Then Mr.Canada sells the same property to Mr.Ireland today for $37million dollars. Therefore Barbados gets 2.5% and Mr.Canada takes his $37million to Canada.

    fuh real or am I misinterpreting this issue?

  91. Carlos Chase

    Hants,

    No. You are simply an idiot.

    Bajans like you who like abroad never ask such questions when you sell your possessions abroad and send the money back to Barbados to build homes.

    Lazy, greedy and ignorant fool.

  92. Carlos Chase

    Beg pardon… Bajans like you who live abroad.

    It is really tiresome trying to find sense from anything you lot are blathering and whining about.

  93. Rumplestilskin

    Chase boy (or girl as the case may be, one never knows with blog handles), the bee that you have in your bonnet stining like mad nuh?

    All you doing is using insults instead of reasoned arguments.

    Usually I would just ignore, but it is clear that you are trying to disrupt the blog.

    Why? Seems to me you just cannot get over the last election and hold this blog, at least partially to to blame.

    Yes, it is tough when citizens have the right of free speech. But then, blogs are transfroming the political world.

    Apparently this is so in Europe also, where the blogs have also taken the control of citizens discussions out of the hands of mainstream media.

    Long live freedoms.

    The good thing for you is, that thanks to the case put by blogs, even uneducated persons like you who can only revert to insult without any reasoned thought or discussion, are allowed to voice your opinions.

    I am sure that you can at least voice a word of praise for that?

    Now. Calm down. The election is past and gone.

  94. tstt

    About 25 years ago, Reverend Andrew Hatch, Rupert Inniss (now deceased), Vere Austin and one or two others from Paynes Bay formed a committee to look into the disappearance of windows to the sea along the west coast. They met religiously at the Pentecostal Church in Paynesbay, and at that time, they targeted a vacant spot of land rigth next to the Treasure Beach Hotel as a possible window to the sea. The workers from Tamarind Cove, probably at the suggestion of the owners or Tamarind Cove (since they also bought the targeted land) demonstrated with chants that they want jobs not windows to the sea. Today the beach next to Treasure Beach Hotel is accessible only by a 3 to 4 foot wide passage way which the owners lock at night. Talk about vision on the part of Mr Innis and his friends. With the sale of Cheffete, another window to the sea is gone, and something tells me that it is only a matter of time before Barbados starts to see private beaches popping up along the west coast. If you block people off from the road, then you could start creating private beaches by default. Sadly Barbados has become or seems to becoming no better than a drug addict who is prepared to sell off all its possessions in order to get its next fix.

  95. John

    Hants

    …. and then there is Mr. Rooney to whose company GOB, in our name, gave concessions back in 1994 or thereabouts to “develop” Royal Wastemoreland” in St. James.

    In 2000 or thereabouts the company was sold to one owned by a Mr. Morphet I believe for US$100 million.

    I won’t touch the water point which in itself is pretty serious but this is an example of which bears investigation and gives an idea of how our assets are being used to make foreigners money, …… with our Government’s, and by extension our own, connivance.

    Needless to say we are worse off water wise than we were before Mr. Rooney.

  96. John

    Did anybody know about this purchase and development and can any one say where it appears in the PDP?

    http://www.royalwestmoreland.com/newsletters/six/index.html?utm_source=newsletter6&utm_medium=email

  97. John

    Here is another link.

    http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/travel/reviews/s/142/142465_golf_break_royal_westmoreland_barbados.html

    When this current sale in Holetown is compared with others very quickly you begin to realise that the $40 million touted is peanuts.

    Wonder how much taxes GOB collected from Mr. Rooney’s $100 million windfall? …… mostly based on concessions the taxpayer granted him through our own GOB back in the early 1990’s!!

  98. no name

    To offset the negative perspective in relation to the Holetown sale, it would be interesting if the Haloutes would give us a list of the new ventures they are pursuing. This would show Barbadians that the Haloutes are responsible for providing jobs in this country and not just through fast food.

    John, are you saying that concessions have been granted by the BLP or will be sought from the DLP Government in relation to the proposed condo development in Holetown?

  99. no name

    Time for the old dogs to learn some new tricks.

  100. John

    The point about concessions and permissions is that they are exclusive and prevent competition from all property owners. They provide protection in a world in which protection is frowned upon.

    They invariably do not follow any particular plan and do not appear in any Physical Development Plan, PDP. The last PDP properly presented to the the people of Barbados and adopted by Parliament was in 1991.

    The costs and benefits to we empty headed nosey people in Barbados are rarely particularised. Somebody just felt something was a good idea and threw away all the planning work of decades.

    Carlos’ idea about keeping the price secret from the media is childish in the extreme because it does not comprehend the simple fact that the Government needs to know how much tax to levy and the Government is accountable to the people of Barbados, media included.

    Ok, …. so perhaps Zimbabwe maybe an exception.

    Someone, B or D, obviously told the purchaser that they would be permitted to do as they please and so implement their plan to recoup their expenditure of $40 or $80 million with interest.

    It is kind of like Matthew Kerrins of Splash Waterpark fame. He spent his money based on representations made to him.

    The sums are of course vastly different and one would expect a few shattered kneecaps if “nature” doesn’t take its course.

  101. Hants

    Carlos Chase says

    “Bajans like you who like abroad never ask such questions when you sell your possessions abroad and send the money back to Barbados to build homes.”

    No Mr.Chase. A lot of us from abroad keep our properties abroad and send our earnings back which benefits YOU and Barbados to the tune of about a BILLION dolars a year.

    We feel we have a right to discuss issues in Barbados because we contribute to the economy of Barbados and being Bajan we accept that there are people like you and Royal Rumble who will attack us in defence of your masters.

    Carlos Chase also says “It is really tiresome trying to find sense from anything you lot are blathering and whining about.”

    Is mainly about the idea that people can apparently make secret deals involving the sale of property in Barbados to non nationals.

    For those of us who live in countries where this information would be made public we ask,

    what is the reason for the secrecy?

    BFP please don’t ban Carlo Chase. He is just another Royal Rumble.

  102. peltdownman

    Carlos Chase

    “There are thousands of us in Barbados and we know that success comes from dint of hard work.”
    __________________________________
    I know and mix with many of you so-called Barbadian professionals, and I really don’t see too much hard work, unless you define networking amongst yourselves to negotiate another piece of the pie is called “hard work”. Hard working people don’t play polo on Tuesdays, don’t loiter on the golf course on weekdays. No doubt success does come by dint of hard work for many of us, Carlos, but please, don’t count real estate developers among them.

  103. tstt

    how long does it take to moderate a comment?

    ***********

    BFP says,

    It depends how much Clive has been drinking on a Friday afternoon! 🙂

  104. littleboy

    Ossie Moore
    You described the late Oscar “Ossie” Moore as a …”tall, big man…”. The Oscar Moore that I KNEW was neither of the two. He was of the same build as Magistrate Nurse…short and slim. The other part of his description was spot on
    ……………………………………………………
    Chefette was reportedly sold for 45 million.
    What the main concern should be is the loss of another window to the sea.

    What ever happened to Rev. Andrew Hatch…has he been silenced since he got “his window to the sea” at Fitts Village?

    …And Andrew Bynoe; was he, too, silenced with an appointment to the Senate?

    …And Austin Husbands; is his silence because his party, The DLP, is now in power?

    The social problems that can result from an inadequate amount of beach access will soon manifest itself.

    MARK MY WORDS!!!

  105. John

    There is also the consideration of more sewage load on the environment.

    This has the potential to make the sea unhealthy to bathe in and affects everybody, foreigner and local alike.

    Beach access then becomes moot.

    I have not been in the sea on the West Coast for upwards of 20 years. Once the natural processes clicked in my mind the sea on the West coast became completely uninviting for me.

    Mount Stinkeroo did it for me long before it became known as Mount Stinkeroo.

    South coast sea bathing for me has become also equally unattractive for the same reasons.

    The sea on the East coast is too rough for me, so I guess my days of bathing in the sea (near the shore where I can stand up) off Barbados have come to an end. …. in any case I suspect that things are not too sweet up that side either, ….. love that beach though.

    Sad to say but I rarely go to the beach on the South or West coast any more.

    Beach access on the South and West coast is thus not an overriding concern for me on a personal level.

  106. Hants

    John you don’t have to give up seabathing entirely because of pollution.

    There are still “windows” of opportunity immediately after a “rough sea” like last week.

    There is a purge of the sea and the beaches so you can swim in “clean” water for a few days.

    A sea bath is very relaxing.

  107. John

    …. the sea has no backdoor!!

  108. John

    Of deeper concern to me is what is happening with the fresh water underground as “development” moves inland.

    If it is easy to understand what is happening nearshore, there are processes which lead the pollution from the developments to the underground water which are not so obvious.

    Operating without a plan (PDP) will I believe in the long run seriously affect our sustainability.

    I can give up sea bathing with little problem but I can’t give up drinking water …… or taking any bath … well not without serious objections from myself and those around me!!

  109. Natural Mystic

    John
    You’re really missing out on one of the special things in Barbados! The sea at the Crane and on the East Coast is pristine- the reefs live.

    But for drinking and cooking you must, for your health’s sake, have the best water filter your budget can afford. If I had the power to filter all water in Barbados and the money to do so, that is one of the things I would do. I don’t know the feasibility of this- sometimes the tap water has lots of sediment in it too, as well as whatever has dissolved/mixed.

  110. John

    I love the Crane too and Bathsheba is beautiful.

    I can stand and watch either one all day. The beaches are lovey too.

    … but I ain”t going in no rough sea.

  111. Hants

    Natural Mystic is giving you good advice John.

    Filter your drinking water because as Barbados becomes more densely populated it is likely that there may be a little contamination of the water supply.

    “Civil engineer Ron Hofmann, who specializes in drinking-water toxins, says a recent report finding painkillers, antibiotics and cholesterol-lowering drugs in the water coming from 15 southern Ontario treatment plants was “not surprising at all” to people in the field.”

    I live in Ontario and I have had filters on our kitchen tap for years and drink bottled water but I am going to install a whole house filter.

  112. iWatchya

    Carlos,

    I am a young bajan and livin’ here.

    The cost of land is so great that it took years of hard saving and a steep mortgage to buy a piece of this rock. I am not sure if I have the money to build a house now due to the rising cost of construction.

    Even the middle class are having trouble buying land now.

    What will your children do when they cannot afford a piece of the rock? I hope that daddy’s money lasts for them.

    Future development of Barbados needs to be managed properly. The ability is there to enforce socially compatible project solutions, where public access is concerned.

    There are great beaches along the West Coast that I cannot get near because there is no easy access or places to park.

    Condos are great financial injections to our economy, but have no tangible economic gains after the first three years.

    That is why hotels are the preferred economic model for drawing foreign exchange and keeping this economy intact.

    I am sure that if all the hotels were turned into condos and all those hard working bajans were laid off, that you would have to run because Barbados would become very much like Jamaica or Trinidad.

    Just look at the less fortunate islands that the rich have oppressed the poor. Go to the Grenadines and see that the rich foreigners have bought the majority of lands in those islands and that the locals are poor as heck.

    The divide between the rich and poor is growing in Barbados. If the current GOB is not careful the number of middle class will dwindle.

    Without a middle class a country cannot prosper. They are the ones who interact with the economy the most and bolster true economic growth.

    Once they are gone, only fear, violence and tears will fill the void between the rich and poor.

    Maybe you should stop thinking about your next golf game, or who will be partying with you next weekend. Go and take a look at the squatters in the Belle, Headley’s land, etc. Do you think that they can really afford a piece of this rock with the skyrocketing prices?

    Just remember that your children and grandchildren have to grow up sometime. Would they be proud of daddy’s actions? Get off your high horse and go play some road tennis.

    Also, people seem to forget that the workers at Chefette are not very well paid and are treated like chattel. Why do you think there is such a high turn over of workers there?

    There is good business and then there is greed and total lack of morals.

  113. no green spaces either

    not only are Barbadians losing their beaches, they are losing their green spaces and potential parkland day by day.

    I there any truth to the rumour that Graeme Hall has been sold or is closing?

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  115. ToLay

    Chefette Holetown was probably sold because of competition from its sister restaurant in Speightstown,additionally the price points of restaurants with similar menu items in the Holetown area would have contributed to the owner’s decision, compounded with this was the opportunity for capital appreciation and this decision would be seen as a wise one.

    The owner is also an intelligent business man, he now has the additional capital adequacy to reinvest and create additional jobs, albeit no one lost their employment with the closure of Chefette Holetown.

    With respect the new owners although they paid a premium for the land, they will leave a 40ft wide ocean window, in a voluntary gesture to show community mindedness,( as they have always been) consequently, this would mean they would in effect be capitulating revenue which could be earned from selling 9000 sq ft of luxury residential square footage.

    Should you know of any investor from the 41 Caribbean islands, and feel free to include from your 38,000,000 choices, any resident of any of the 700 islands which make up The Bahamas, who would drop US$40 million + for less than 3.5 acres of unimproved land and walk away from US$18 million in sales, all because someone they do not even know or probably ever will, wants to look at the sea when they drive, pass, walk or run by the property, then please let us all know the name of this benevolent son or daughter of Caribbean origin, otherwise zip it about issues that you know nothing of, because if it was your money you would erect/construct to highest density allowed by law and then some.

  116. Hello everyone! I know that I’ve joined the conversation here a bit too late but here goes… I came here looking for photos/footage of The Regent/Golden Palm Hotel in Holetown.

    I was wondering if anyone could help me. Has anyone got any old photos of the Regent Hotel/Golden Palm hotel or the Chefette in Holetown?
    I went there on holiday in Summer 1996 when I was twelve and I loved it! It’s such a shame to see what happened to it!

    I have found some photos here http://riqo.free.fr/london/index.php?m= … 728-170715. A few others on Flickr and various over sites. Unfortunately I only have one photo remaining from my holiday, a picture of the pool! lol

    I would be very greatful if anyone had any photos that they could share with me, be them holiday snaps of it in it’s prime or photos when it was abandoned.

    Thanks in advance, Martin Daniels.

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