Out of the frying pan…

When he quit the UK in protest at the government's introduction of more penal tax rules for wealthy individuals, Terra Firma boss Guy Hands may have been hoping for a nice, quiet, controversy-free retreat on the Channel Island of Guernsey. Hmm.

According to a report in the Times newspaper, Hands last October reportedly paid around £7 million (€8.2 million; $11.7 million) for the 11,000 sq ft Ocean House – a record sum for a Guernsey property. The house has fine views over the Western Channel. Let's hope the view isn't spoilt by protesting locals. Apparently, the current residence was built by a prior owner on the site of a previously more humble abode – and when the new version went up, there were howls of protest that it ruined the coastal view.

Furthermore, Hands' arrival has apparently sparked debates on the island about whether – to borrow a phrase from the Times report – “Guernsey should really be a Monaco-style low-tax bolthole for refugees from the financial crisis”. While some residents would apparently welcome such a development as benefitting the economy, others say it prices locals out of the housing market.