Rivercove Limited versus Van Winkelen, at the England & Wales High Court during November 2012, sought to determine whether Van Winkelen’s contractor ERL was responsible for polluting with oil the River Stour Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or whether the oil pollution was historic and occurred whilst Rivercove owned its source. During the hearing it was established, that Rivercove Limited (formerly known as Epsilon Limited) Epsilon:Rivercove Certificate of Incorporation March 2007 was an ‘off the shelf’ Isle of Man trust company set up so corporation tax payed on its profits in the United Kingdom could be avoided by paying its profits in the Isle of Man instead, where corporation tax is currently 19% less than it is in the UK.

During the proceedings it emerged that Rivercove’s beneficiary is the Kelly Family Trust and that the Kelly Family through the directorships held by family members James and John Kelly controlled two other companies involved in the case, land developers the St Francis Group Limited, and land remediators Demolition Services Limited. During the hearing the judge expressed surprise and dissatisfaction that the dubious conflicting interests between the ownership and control of Rivercove, St Francis and Demolition Services Limited did not emerge until cross examination, when James Kelly agreed that St Francis Group Limited and Demolition Services Limited were run by the same people, i.e. himself and his brother John Kelly.  In conclusion the judge found that ERL were not responsible for the oil pollution of the River Stour (SSSI) and that this pollution was caused by the historic condition of the site during the time it was owned by Rivercove.

Rivercove Limited are still an ‘off the shelf’ tax avoidance instrument Rivercove Annual Return April 2018 who have been involved in land dealings at Houghton Regis North site 2 comprising of land at Bidwell West and who now currently own land on the north west side of Sundon Road, the proposed Sundon Rail-Freight Interchange site. Rivercove were until 18thJanuary 2018 a director and shareholder in Bidwell West 1 Limited Bidwell West 1 Limited application for incorporation January 2018 and Bidwell West 2 Limited Bidwell West 2 Limited application for incorporation January 2018 along with these companies’ other directors and shareholders, David Edmund Fensome of Thorn Farm, Dunstable, LU5 6JH and Mark Irving Robinson of Lugden Hill Farm, Kings Lynn, PE31 8PG. Rivercove purchased the Sundon Rail-freight Interchange site valued at between £500 001 and £1 000 000 on the 27thApril 2011 Property Title BD212626 for Sundon RFI Land .

Because the allocation of sites during the development of a Local Plan and the subsequent approval of planning applications to develop these sites inevitably increases their value. The following are legitimate questions of public interest:

  1. Did Cllr. J Nigel Young the political architect of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Development Strategy/Local Plan 2011-2031, who can be seen on the Council’s webcast site persuading the Council’s Development Management Committee (DMC) to approve planning applications, because the Council did not have a 5-year land supply, benefit from HN2 land dealings subsequent to the approval by the DMC of planning application CB/15/00297/OUT on 18/11/2018 (reserved matters still outstanding)?
  2. Will Cllr. J Nigel Young or any other CBC councillor, for example, Cllr. Jamie Jamieson, who are politically responsible for the current Local Plan 2015-2035, benefit from the sale of Sundon Rail-freight Interchange land to Prologis UK Limited who according to this land’s title have an interest in the land?
  3. Will Central Bedfordshire Council benefit from an increase in the value of a quantum of land it has an interest in, in the area adjacent to the Sundon Rail-Freight Interchange site due it allocating the proposed Sundon Rail-freight Interchange site for development?
  4. Will the abstraction of water to support the operation of the proposed Sundon Rail-Freight Interchange site affect the adjacent Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) whose designation is predicated on the water dependent wildlife living within the site?