The world’s highest-paid businesswoman has spent a staggering £5.5 million buying up hundreds of acres of farmland which surround her new space age home in a bid to turn the estate into an impenetrable fortress.
Denise Coates, the co-founder of Bet365 who paid herself a salary of £265 million last year, has snapped up 12 separate plots of land since 2014.
Having spent years living quietly under the radar, it was revealed yesterday she is now spending £90 million to build an enormous futuristic glass home complete with a 7,000 square metre artificial lake, a boat house, a sunken tennis court, stables, walled gardens and a cycle path.
Today, the scale of her land-grab can be revealed. As part of the project, Mrs Coates has offered locals ‘ridiculous’ prices for their land to ensure complete privacy, spending at least £5,422,800 making deals with farmers in a Cheshire village, land registry records show.
This map shows the land grab performed by Bet365 boss Denise Coates, who has bought 12 plots of land for £8 million in just four years. She bought the first plot for £1.4 million (in red) in October 2014 where her space age glass house is being built. A plot north of the building site is also currently under offer (red lines), though Mrs Coates has not been confirmed as the buyer
Mrs Coates, the world’s highest-paid businesswoman, has spent a staggering amount buying up hundreds of acres of land which surround her new space age home (pictured being built) in a bid to turn the estate into an impenetrable fortress
Denise Coates, the 51-year-old co-founder of Bet365 who paid herself a salary of £265 million last year, has snapped up 12 separate plots of land since 2014 surrounding the area where she is building her glass palace (pictured artist’s impression)
In October 2014, Mrs Coates bought the original 52-acre plot of land for £1,380,000 and bulldozed much of the original building to make way for her massive space age ‘statement’ mansion. The extra land she has acquired more than triples the size of the original site.
Mrs Coates, 51, paid her neighbours the Nield family £1,174,418 for two plots of land neighbouring her property, according to records.
The Nields told Mail Online they also accepted more than £1 million from the betting boss to scrap a planned canal side marina.
Farmer Edward Nield had been granted planning permission by the council in Cheshire back in 2013 to build the marina complete with workshop, new wetlands, habitat creation and ecological area.
But when asked if they had been paid £1 million to cancel the plans, Mr Nield’s wife Alison said: ‘It was actually more than that but I don’t want to say anything more about it.’
Our map shows the gambling queen bought a further nine plots of land and buildings in four years with prices ranging from £300,000 to £1.4million.
She has joined forces with the world renowned architecture firm Foster and Partners to create her three storey glass-built house.
Sir Norman Foster’s firm is famed for skyscrapers, airports and commercial buildings rather than domestic properties but he has been hired by Mrs Coates to create her luxury country estate.
The huge glass building is costing the Coates family £90m to build. In October 2014, Mrs Coates bought the original 52-acre plot of land for £1.4m and bulldozed much of the existing building to make way for her massive space age statement mansion
Neighbours say they have been offered ‘stupid money’ for their land so the Coates family’s dream estate can be extended. Mrs Coates has bought 12 titles costing a total of £5,422,800 making deals with farmers, land registry records show
Neighbours say they have been offered ‘stupid money’ for their farmland so the dream estate of the Coates family can be extended
The £90million estate in Cheshire has been designed with a sunken tennis court (pictured) near to the planned summer house
Roads leading to the development have been closed by the council while work takes place and to ensure the utmost privacy she is planting 200 trees and surrounding the estate with a two metre security fence looked after by 24/7 guards.
Mrs Coates, who at the moment is living in a converted barn house nearby, has been credited with turning a modest family business into a global firm raking in millions.
More than 3,000 jobs were created in her native Stoke-on-Trent over the border in Staffordshire when the huge Bet365 HQ was built.
Mrs Coates, pictured with her father Peter, also a Bet365 director, made millions when she mortgaged her his gambling shop and took the business online
The family have also given away millions to charitable causes, with Mrs Coates being seen as a ‘local girl done good’.
However, the mother-of-five has caused upset among villagers with her new home.
Gasfitter Hayley Poxon, 29, who kept three horses and a donkey near the site said she’s been forced to move two of her horses because of the disruption.
Hayley said: ‘It’s chaos, I’ve been here four years we were told in January what was going on. The next minute there’s wagons coming up.
‘It’s been a nightmare. It’s been hell. The reason I’ve moved off is because I cannot ride.
‘I’ve four horses. With my two big ones I go out on the road and I couldn’t do it.
‘I went out for a hack one day and I came down the lane. It wasn’t closed off. It shouldn’t have been closed off the way they did it anyway – they just put signs up saying it had been closed and we were like ‘hang on it’s not.’
She added: ‘I came down there on my young horse and had two forty ton wagons behind me.
‘I had a seven and half truck coming at me. The security guard told me to go round. He tried to make me go through this small gap so I stood on the bridge and I said ‘I’m not moving. You move your wagons and I’ll get past.’
‘They park wagons on the bend. These are motorway wagons up and down the lane. I used to keep my horses on grass across the way and I told the farmer I had to stop renting because of his neighbours.
‘It’s been lovely down here and then all of a sudden it’s not. They’re not bothered about the people here.
‘I’ve moved my horses four miles away now. I’ve got two here in the field and the other two that I ride I’ve moved because I can’t ride around here anymore. I’m not putting my horses in harm’s way.
‘It’s costing me £760 a month – it’s a mortgage. If it wasn’t for her I’d still be here quite happy plodding about the lanes. She’s ruined everything and it’s disgusting. There’s been no regard for anyone.’
Roads leading to the development (pictured) were closed by the council while work takes place and to ensure the utmost privacy she is planting 200 trees and surrounding the estate with a two metre security fence looked after by 24/7 guards
Mrs Coates has given millions to local charities, but locals are upset at the amount of disruption caused by her building work. Gasfitter Hayley Poxon says she’s had to move three horses and a donkey kept near the site because of the disruption
Other families have said they are upset over the huge lorries delivering to the house with up to 30 construction lorries a day travelling down country lanes
Of the development, Jean Batchelor, a 77-year-old local, said the betting boss is also causing family rifts – because children want to sell and take the big money on the table but their parents want to stay put
Other families have said they are upset over the huge lorries delivering to the house with up to 30 construction lorries a day travelling down country lanes.
One local businesswoman said her elderly mother ‘is in tears everyday’ over the chaos caused by the lorries which she said tore up grass verges.
Last year, when Mrs Coates won permission to build her home, a family who refused to move told the Daily Mail they were not going to give in.
One woman said: ‘It seems that Denise Coates wants to be the lady of the manor around here, and with all the money she’s got she must think she can buy anything.
‘But my husband was born in this house, my family live here very happily, and we’re staying put.
‘I think the way she earns her money is immoral, disgraceful. People get addicted (to gambling) and it puts pressure on them. They can lose their family and their home.’
Another person told The Times: ‘They offered us too much and we couldn’t refuse. It was stupid money.’
Jean Batchelor, a 77-year-old local, said the betting boss is also causing family rifts – because children want to sell and take the big money on the table but their parents want to stay put.
Mrs Coates is no stranger to controversy.
She has been accused of ‘living off the misery of others’ with critics calling her earnings ‘obscene’ and ‘disgusting’, after it emerged the number of problem gamblers aged 11 to 16 had quadrupled in two years to 55,000.
Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth said: ‘From gambling to alcohol to drug misuse we face an addiction crisis.
‘Services are slashed, mental health services neglected. Lives are ruined while the CEO of a betting company is paid 22 times more than the whole industry ‘donates’ to treatment. Disgusting.’
However, according to the documents submitted to the local council the creation of the estate will generate 12 jobs, including an estate manager and other staff.
The incredible enormous futuristic glass home complete with a 7,000 square metre artificial lake, a boat house, a sunken tennis court, stables, walled gardens and a cycle path and a glass lake house on the water (pictured)
The home is being surrounded by a ‘woodland belt’ which will hide the inhabitants from the world outside. There will also be 24 hour security
Mrs Coates paid her neighbours the Nield family £1,174,418 for two plots of land neighbouring her property and a further £1 million to scrap a planned canal side marina that they had planning approval for back in 2013
Mrs Coates made millions when she mortgaged her father’s betting shop in 2001 and took the business online – before building the Bet365 empire.
Last year, more than £50billion was placed in stakes on the website started by the former Sheffield University student.
Her fellow executives at the bookmaker include her husband, childhood sweetheart Richard Smith, who serves as group property director, as well her father Peter and her brother John.
She and her husband met at university where she earned a first class degree in econometrics in the 1980s.
Returning to Stoke to work for her father’s company as an accountant, she saw the potential in internet gambling and convinced her family to mortgage all their betting shops to build an online business.
She then bought the Bet365 domain name for around £20,000.
She and her husband adopted four girls from the same family a few years ago and they also have a child of their own, but she had been described as ‘reclusive’ after keeping her home life well away from the limelight.