Bryn Llys, unravelling

PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR

This piece was to be one of three in a post entitled ‘Rogues Gallery’, but things started accumulating and I realised I should focus on the Bryn Llys gang. Because I believe the end may be in sight.

For those new to the story, the gang referred to – with a couple of additions – hails from the Halifax area of West Yorkshire. They’ve bought property outside Nebo, a village south of Caernarfon, built a new house – ‘Snowdon Summit View’ – by exceeding planning permission, demolished the old house, removed hedgerows and cut down trees, and tried to steal land by bullying neighbours.

Bryn Llys, old and new. Click to enlarge

More recently the disruption to others’ lives has meant a new road and a bridge. All done to facilitate proceeding with the longer-term plans for the site, which will involve some kind of ‘Playground Wales’ horror show.

INTRODUCING JOHN JOSEPH DUGGAN

A good place to start this saga is June 30, 2005, at Bradford Crown Court, where 46-year-old John Joseph Duggan was jailed for more than six years. The court heard that Duggan had “masqueraded as 12 different characters to run a series of ‘ghost’ building firms which targeted unsuspecting trade merchants and private customers.”

The amount conned in this way was said to be £547,000, and the judge described him as a “professional fraudster”. There’s an account here in the Hebden Bridge Times, which is worth reading because it will prepare you for what follows.

At the time he committed these offences Duggan was already disqualified from being a company director, making it reasonable to assume that there had been earlier offences. The disqualification almost certainly explains why he used up to a dozen aliases. Duggan was then banned from being a director for a further fifteen years, up until 6 July 2021.

An extract from Hebden Bridge Times report of John Duggan’s 2005 trial. Click to enlarge.

The following year, Duggan’s son, Jonathan James Duggan appeared in the same court, and before the same judge, the Recorder of Bradford, Stephen Gullick. Who described the younger Duggan as a “willing apprentice”.

In court the prosecutor outlined the modus operandi of what was headlined the ‘family business’: ” . . . building companies had been set up since 2002 and ordered materials and equipment from suppliers who were never paid. Each company was wound up after only a few months and a fresh company set up.”

With the materials and equipment obtained by deception sold for cash.

Like father like son, the younger Duggan was using the alias Ripley.

THE SON ALSO RISES

Then there seems to be a gap – certainly, I can’t find anything – between 2006 and August 2013 when Bryn Llys is bought and Jonathan Duggan turns up in Gwynedd. Were they living off their ill-gotten gains?

For it seems unlikely they could have done much business in the West Yorkshire area after such bad publicity.

But a company was formed in March 2012 with Jonathan Duggan and Andrew Battye as the directors . . . and the secretaries, for they kept changing roles. Bridge Glazing Systems Ltd lasted until July 2015 when it was wound up by creditors.

I’m having difficulty identifying Andrew Battye, because it seems to be a fairly common name in Yorkshire. I’ve located a few of that name, but they appear to be legitimate. This is important because the Land Registry lists Andrew Battye as the owner of Bryn Llys. He’s also listed as the owner of the land adjoining Bryn Llys. (To be explained later.)

Among others I’ve mentioned is Shane Baker, BritNat fan of Tommy Robinson, who appeared once or twice as a ‘rhubarb, rhubarb’ film or TV extra, and lives in a large mobile home on the site.

His Facebook page confirms that he’s inordinately fond of a certain flag. And if you’re looking for a hot tub, then Shane’s your man. I’m told he’s sold lots of stuff online over the years. We can but hope that the suppliers of these goods were paid.

When he’s not online retailing it seems Shane looks after Duggan’s dogs. “Lovely pups”, says Julie Appleton of Benllech. A family friend, I suppose.

Click to enlarge

Another Duggan associate is ‘property developer’ Aaron Hill, also a near neighbour. More on Hill in a moment.

But one I’ve rather overlooked recently is Jonathan Duggan’s half-brother, Scott Smith, who may still live in West Yorkshire.

It’s worth re-acquainting you with Smith because when we line up his business record with that of Duggan Junior we see a very similar ‘business model’ to the one that got their father banged up.

(Here’s a pdf version with working links.)

Click to enlarge

You have to wonder why people with the business records and family backgrounds of Jonathan Duggan and Scott Smith are ever allowed to start a company.

JOHN JOSEPH DUGGAN SCENE II

Following his time in prison after the 2005 conviction John Duggan relocated to Harrogate, in North Yorkshire. But he had no intention of going straight, and in April 2018 he was sentenced to five and a half years imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court.

But he wasn’t in court to hear the sentence handed down, cos he’d done a runner.

Click to enlarge

Unable to emulate Lord Lucan he was arrested within weeks at Benllech on Ynys Môn, where he was living under a false name. Fancy that, a false name. He may have struggled to come up with one he hadn’t used before!

While searching for Duggan père police called in on Duggan fils and the gang at Bryn Llys. The image below from WalesOnline shows how the ‘extension’ dwarfs the (now demolished) original house.

Click to enlarge

John Joseph Duggan was sent down in April 2018 for five and a half years, so he might have been released by now. If not, then assuming he’s behaved himself, it can’t be long before he’s let out to rebuild his business empire.

HEARTS AND MINDS

We last read of the gang in Miscellany 02.03.2020 (section headed ‘Bryn Llys Bach’). There I mentioned the remarkable case of an old Land Rover spontaneously combusting, and an upcoming appearance at Llandudno magistrates court, so let’s catch up.

The court case was adjourned until Thursday and Friday of this week. Yet another adjournment. (Is this the third?)

The mystery of things just ‘catching afire’, as witnessed at Bryn Llys. Click to enlarge

When he’s not brushing up on his legal Latin and practising his rhetoric in the bathroom mirror, Jonathan Duggan has been complaining to anyone prepared to listen that he’s being victimised!

Even those who don’t want to listen have had to endure his self-pitying rants. In one incident, three weeks ago, outside the local school in Nebo, he was shouting and swearing, claiming nobody liked him, and that he just wanted to live quietly and farm. (He’s bought a few pigs and geese!)

Perhaps he doesn’t have the sense to realise that shouting and swearing at the school gates is guaranteed to get you disliked. Maybe he’ll get the message now that North Wales Police has served him with a Community Protection Notice (CPN).

This hasn’t been Duggan’s only recent brush with the law. For the Rural Crimes Officer is taking action over one of the dogs we met earlier attacking poultry in a neighbouring property. It’s not the first time his dogs have strayed and attacked poultry. I’m told Duggan’s gracing Caernarfon magistrates court early next month.

The postponed case I referred to is an appeal by the gang against an enforcement notice issued by Cyngor Gwynedd relating to the unlawful splitting or subdividing of the Bryn Llys title. This was something I wasn’t entirely clear about myself, but I think these are the details.

A previous owner of Bryn Llys, when it was a modest property with a small curtilage, bought some twenty acres of land. This explains title document WA936224 covering just the house and a small area, with title CYM579760 relating to the land surrounding the house. (Scroll down on both for title plan.)

Bryn Llys title shaded green. ‘Land adjoining’ edged in red. Click to enlarge

The suspicion is that Duggan wanted to further split the Bryn Llys house title into two, one title for the original house, a new one for ‘Snowdon Summit View’.

The old title might then have been used for another ‘extension’ developing into a second monstrous blot on the landscape.

LIE OF THE LAND

Problems are not coming singly for Jonathan Duggan at the moment. On the one hand, he’s been presented with a CPN for his monologue outside Nebo school, he’s up before the Cofi beaks thanks to his chicken-munching dogs, and he’s due at the seaside this week to defend himself against the enforcement notice.

But it doesn’t end there – I’m told there are further enforcement notices in the offing. Here’s one I can tell you about.

This concerns the ‘land lying to the south east of Glanrafon Terrace’, which the title document tells us was bought from Aaron Hill . . . with a loan from Aaron Hill.

Duggan has had work done on this land improving access so that large vehicles and machinery can be brought in to press on with the next stage of ‘Project Snowdon Summit View’.

For as I mentioned earlier, Jonathan Duggan and his pals have made no secret of their plans for the site, and the formation last year of Bryn Llys Ltd, which is in the business of ‘holiday centres and villages’, should leave no one in any doubt.

The secretary and sole director of Bryn Llys Ltd is Andrew Battye, who is, according to the Land Registry, also the owner of Bryn Llys and the land around it.

Bryn Llys land and access edged in blue, land bought from Aaron Hill in red. Bryn Llys house title not shown. Though outline suggests both old house still standing and extension built to original planning permission. Compare with NorthWalesLive photograph above. Click to enlarge

The details for both the enforcement notice and the appeal can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website. Here’s a direct link to the enforcement notice. Further links here to the enforcement notice appeal form and the enforcement notice appeal supporting statement.

There are a couple of things worth a comment. Turning first to the supporting statement, read the panel below, which sets out Duggan’s justification for trying to become Nebo’s answer to Thomas Telford.

Click to enlarge

Can you imagine a crook like Duggan, who has terrorised his neighbours, and who has henchmen to back him up, plus large dogs, allowing anyone to hinder his access with “old gates and general rubbish”?

The material he refers to is well inside the boundary of the neighbouring property, leaving the Bryn Llys access clear. This is a pathetic attempt to justify his unauthorised work. As is the ‘fencing’ mentioned on the plan.

Proven by the fact that Duggan was able to use this access lane to bring in all the machinery and material needed to build ‘Snowdon Summit View’. Plus Shane Baker’s large mobile home.

Attempting to discredit the established access to Bryn Llys also explains the Land Rover fire at the end of last month. This was done to summon the fire service in the hope that any difficulty experienced by a large fire tender could support his claim, and undermine the enforcement notice.

But as I told you in the previous post, the local fire chief had visited the site earlier and said that Bryn Llys could be adequately covered by a ‘narrow access vehicle’.

Now let’s turn to the enforcement notice appeal form. Where you’ll see that the appellant is ‘Mr John Duggan’.

Click to enlarge

When I queried this with a source I was told that it refers to Jonathan Duggan. But the abbreviated form of Jonathan is Jon, not John. So maybe it’s a typo? I wouldn’t be asking if Jonathan’s Duggan’s father’s name was Wolfgang or Mustafa, but it’s John.

FOLLOWING THE MONEY

It is universally understood that Jonathan James Duggan and/or his father John Joseph Duggan own Bryn Llys and the land around. But they can’t admit that because they have so many unpaid creditors, from Jewsons to HMRC.

Which explains why Andrew Battye owns everything. (Don’t laugh, it’s rude!)

Being unable to admit to having assets may also explain the bizarre deal over the new land. Running out of legitimate lenders, and with Duggan unable to say that he’s bought this land with family money, he and Hill pretend that the vendor has ‘loaned’ the buyer the money to make the purchase!

And Duggan is definitely running out of lender options.

Going back to the title documents, you’ll recall that in October 2013 a loan or mortgage was taken out with the Bank of Scotland. Then, in June 2016, there is a further loan/mortgage with the Shawbrook Bank. (These loans covering both titles.)

But then, and only against Bryn Llys, title WA936224, we find a further restriction dated 18 September 2018, this one in favour of Andrew Peter Smith.

Click to enlarge

So who is Andrew Peter Smith? Well, here’s his Linkedin profile. You’ll see that Mr Smith is an insolvency practitioner, and he works for PayPlan, a company that helps people with debts.

What does it all mean?

One possibility is that the involvement of an insolvency practitioner means the bag marked ‘Swag’ is getting empty. Duggan would have hoped to replenish it by selling ‘Snowdon Summit View’.

But the Duggans seem to be stuck with a hideous new house they’re finding impossible to sell, despite having dropped the asking price from £850,000 last summer to £650,000 last month, when it failed to sell.

Click to enlarge

If they are running low on loot, then the ‘purchase’ of the new land from Aaron Hill might be the last throw of the dice. For without the roadway and bridge the Duggans can’t hope to sell the new house, nor move on to ‘Snowdon Summit View Holiday Park’.

Duggan himself has contributed to the difficulty of selling by arguing that there is no viable access to Bryn Llys/’Snowdon Summit View’!

Desperation is taking hold. I’m sure Jonathan Duggan now hears the sirens of Shit Creek sing their beguiling song.

And this new land throws up another tantalising question. For as I’ve said, the Duggans can’t admit to owning anything for fear of creditors, yet with this new land Jonathan James Duggan is boldly listed as the owner. (But thinks he’s covered himself by claiming Hill loaned him the money.)

Duggan’s justification for laying the roadway and building the bridge across the land bought from Hill is to provide access to Bryn Llys. But why splash out £50,000 for the land, and many thousands more on the bridge and the roadway – to give access to a property he doesn’t own?

Looking back to the map provided by the agent in the appeal against the enforcement notice we read, “Blue line represents Bryn Llys site boundary prior to purchasing the additional land”. But Bryn Llys hasn’t bought ‘the additional land’. For Bryn Llys is owned by Andrew Battye and the new land by Jonathan Duggan.

If the new land forms part of Bryn Llys then either the new land belongs to Andrew Battye or Bryn Llys is owned by Jonathan Duggan.

The crooks are starting to contradict themselves.

For the benefit of any police forces considering using the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, or creditors looking for what they’re owed, John Joseph Duggan and/or Jonathan James Duggan own a large house they believe is worth £650,000, plus 30 acres or so of land. And they may still have cash stashed away.

Click to enlarge

If Cyngor Gwynedd and others stick to their guns and enforce the law then Jonathan Duggan and his mates will have to remove the unauthorised roadway and bridge and reinstate the area.

And then, when that last throw of the dice has failed, the end will be in sight.

Whereas surrendering to Duggan’s bluster will start another sequence of unauthorised works, leading to one enforcement notice after another, more court appearances, and yet more misery for the neighbours.

The time has come for firm and decisive action to finally deal with these crooks.

♦ end ♦

 

30 thoughts on “Bryn Llys, unravelling

  1. Anonymous

    Great research yet again. Just hoping the courts deal with them to end the misery of their neighbours and give a message to any other scumbags seeing Wales as an easy target.

  2. Anonymous

    If you do some research and look on Google earth. the bridge in question has always been there. Typical nosy neighbours. With nothing better to do.

    1. The old bridge was a rather simple affair, now replaced with a concrete monstrosity designed to take much more weight. And we know why, don’t we?

        1. Someone’s been in touch to tell me that the original bridge was a wooden structure to allow people and animals to cross the stream. It was classed as a footbridge. It has been replaced with a concrete affair wide enough for a truck.

          1. Wynne

            If classified as an “ordinary watercourse” they should also be applying for consent for the structure under S.23 Land Drainage Act 1991 [as amended by Floods & Water Management Act 2010]. The consenting process is administered by local authority. This is in addition to any planning permission required.

  3. Dafis

    Loads of scumbags hovering around the “niche” property markets right across Wales. Scotland had a shortage of scumbags so they set out to create one. Despite best efforts of assorted conspirators they couldn’t get the scumbag hat to fit on Salmond’s head ! Wonder who exactly is pissed off by this outcome as a lot of effort went into constructing this case for the prosecution ?

  4. Dafis

    Labour, the party of slow-to-inert government, afraid of its own fuckin’ shadow, has the gall to call out Adam Price for giving vent to his anger/irritation/frustration in public. Of all the donkeys in their stable they had to let Dawn Bowden loose in response – an expert in cheap political points if there ever was one. In fact cheap covers most aspects of her political life along with shabby, shallow, …. you get my drift. Drakeford was rumored to have been good at the administrative side of his previous role but even that aspect has gone down the tubes in his time as FM. There again there is not much within Labour or the broader Cynulliad that sets a higher standard for him to aim at.

    1. Covid-19 has shown up the fundamental failing of the ‘Welsh Government’. Which is a refusal to act in the best interests of Wales if that means departing too much from England/UK policy and/or runs the risk of being labelled ‘nationalistic’. The truth is – and they probably know it – that to serve Wales properly you have to be ‘nationalistic’ to a greater or lesser degree. Otherwise, what is the point of devolution?

      1. David Smith

        I’m guessing you’re referring to implementing our own shutdown to stop the colonists that have ponced in and had their jollies en masse in Snowdonia?

        1. Absolutely. All Drakewell is doing is echoing BoJo. Sturgeon’s response was to act earlier – for which she was accused of ‘politicising’ coronavirus. Scotland is drifting away, and yesterday’s acquittal of Alex Salmond on what were clearly trumped-up and politically-motivated charges only increases the gap.

          1. Neil Singleton

            So 9 (NINE) women’s evidence was discounted, and an internal Scottish Government email advising that women employees should not be left alone with Salmond was “discounted”.
            The OJ Simpson outcome seems more appropriate to this case.

            1. Salmond was acquitted by a mainly female jury. The comparison with O J Simpson is wrong, and odious.

            2. Anonymous

              https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/03/your-man-finally-in-the-public-gallery-the-alex-salmond-trial-day-8/

              And then Craig Murray was banned from covering the trial, do you ever wonder why?

              Alex Salmond has a 30 year political career his phones everything will be bugged, over 20 Police investigating this and over 400 women interviewed and this is all they could come up with – he touched my knee in a car. A car with an armrest! Christ on a bike!

              The trial was never meant to come to court, they were trumped up accusations to be used by SNP HQ to stop Alex Salmond from resuming his political career, i.e. he would not pass a vetting process because there were ahem hush hush secret documents, allegations that you can’t see that we have – remind you of anyone? Deryn etc

  5. Brychan

    Besides the fact that there is outstanding planning enforcement on the property, the need to remove the new trackway and restore the bridge to how it was, it’s hideous.

    Grand designs meets Scumthorpe lean-too.

    With the history of these scanks, I’d be very wary of the RSJs they have holding up the upper floors, and the questionable weatherproofing of the velux windows. To top it all, looking at the estate agents photo, they’ve installed the proverbial outdoor Jacuzzi tub on the patio. More council house in Halifax than country residence. Hideous. I do however think the ground floor open-plan space could be useful for winter livestock.

    They’ve managed to replaced a character farmhouse with a showroom lobby for Argos. Not even worth the land value. Demolish it.

    1. ‘Snowdon Summit View’ is crass and tasteless to the point of being really fucking hideous. But then, when you’ve got hundreds of thousands of pounds to launder then you must spend it. The problem for the gang is that they won’t get their money back. But of course, it was never their money to start with.

  6. David Smith

    My mate told me the surgery his other half works in was flooded with patients of the demographic of which we are all familiar, getting on in years and hailing from the East. Not to demonise these people as individuals, but this is surely a small glimpse into the demographic disaster that is ongoing.

    Given that England has had far more confirmed cases and deaths from Covid-19 than the ‘Fringe’, perhaps a UK-wide one size fits all approach to the problem has not been the best idea? Thinking outside the box a bit, closures along the two national borders within Great Britain might have been the way to go.

    I will emphasise that I’m not trying to use this to “Bash the English” or make this out to be “England’s problem”, it’s quite obviously a consequence of England having by far a greater population overall and many more large conurbations in which it is clustered.

    1. Dafis

      Urban clusters, conurbations etc should be locked down – no in or out – to prevent any residents dashing off to other parts where they might fancy shorter queues at the supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics or hospitals. Stay in your own backyard and if it comes to it, wallow in your own shit, don’t shit on my patch as we are well able to make our own.

      1. Wrexhamian

        A family of five from Liverpool were caught trying to sneak their way to Llanfairfechan this morning (the 26th March) and given their marching orders back over the border by Gogplod. There may be more attempts while the lockdown’s in place, so, yes, the border should be policed during this pandemic.

  7. David Smith

    Not sure if you were notified of this given the odd way he went about it, but your man Baker had a pop at you on Twitter yesterday, the timing of which can’t be a coincidence given yet another star turn in this latest entry. He did so by quote-tweeting a reply of mine in the thread in which he called you a “Right cunt”, alongside a screen grab of Aled&Teifi’s denunciation of you as an [insert marginalised demographic here]-phobe. Doubly strange effort in both its convoluted Twittering and seeming alignment with ideological opposites in shared goals of bringing you down. I’ve left the floor as yours to give your response:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/shanebaker1962/status/1242407300964458496

    1. It’s amazing! Sooner or later everybody I piss off, every shyster, crook and BritNat, finds and quotes that tweet of Aled the Woke.

      1. Wil

        And long may you continue to piss off the thieves and shysters, Jac. The lowlife scum. Diolch yn fawr.

      2. Dafis

        Aled the Woke makes common cause with a BritNat serial shyster just cos he doesn’t like Jac ability to identify little shits in all walks of Welsh life !

        What a fuckin’ demented fruitcake, well a pair of them, Aled and the other nut.

        1. In fairness, I don’t think Aled is making common cause so much as his famous little rant is being used by specimens he would view with revulsion but who see young Aled as an ally. I find that hilarious.

  8. Wynne

    I have now read the “appeal supporting statement” prepared by “jpj architectural design”. I don’t think the planning inspectorate will be impressed. It is a statement I would expect if they were appealing a planning decision. This is an appeal against an enforcement notice. The grounds for appeal are set out in S.174 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 [as amended by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991]. The relevant abstract from statute is reproduced below.

    (2) An appeal may be brought on any of the following grounds:

    (a) that, in respect of any breach of planning control which may be constituted by the matters stated in the notice, planning permission ought to be granted or, as the case may be, the condition or limitation concerned ought to be discharged;

    (b) that those matters have not occurred;

    (c) that those matters (if they occurred) do not constitute a breach of planning control;

    (d) that, at the date when the notice was issued, no enforcement action could be taken in respect of any breach of planning control which may be constituted by those matters;

    (e) that copies of the enforcement notice were not served as required by section 172;

    (f) that the steps required by the notice to be taken, or the activities required by the notice to cease, exceed what is necessary to remedy any breach of planning control which may be constituted by those matters or, as the case may be, to remedy any injury to amenity which has been caused by any such breach;

    (g) that any period specified in the notice in accordance with section 173(9) falls short of what should reasonably be allowed.

    As I understand, it if an appeal is submitted under grounds 2 [a] above they are required to also pay the fee for processing a planning application, with the fee payable to the Council.

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