‘Residential units’ – how many is too many?


After my tribulations last week, with computer and internet service, I’m delighted to report that everything is now resolved.

Despite the problems I managed to make a start on the piece you’re about to read. It’s yet another tale of money from north west England – possibly further afield – buying property in northern Wales. And as is so often the case, when you look more closely into what’s happening, and who’s involved, then the more questions arise.


An interesting property, Gwynfryn Plas, aka Plas Gwynfryn, near Llanystumdwy, on the Llŷn peninsula. Due to both forms being used I shall stick with ‘Gwynfryn’.

It was home to Hugh John Ellis-Nanney, scion of an anglicised Welsh gentry family. Educated at Eton and Oxford, and now the owner of a sizeable estate, Ellis-Nanney wanted a house to reflect his status, and so Gwynfryn was completed in 1878.

Persuaded to stand in the 1890 by-election for Caernarvon Boroughs, Conservative Ellis-Nanney was defeated by the Liberal candidate, up and coming local boy, David Lloyd George.

With Ellis-Nanney having no male heir the estate passed to his daughter, and after her death Gwynfryn served a number of purposes, finally a hotel, before being gutted by fire in 1982.


From around 2010 reports appeared in the media bemoaning the fact that the old pile was in such a mess, with no one knowing who owned it. Here’s one report from the BBC in October 2011.

The location of Gwynfryn. Click to enlarge

In the report you will have read, “Aaron Hill, who lives near Caernarfon, wants to take over and renovate the property, which was gutted by fire in 1982”. Hang on! – Aaron Hill?

Yes, the very same Aaron Hill who bought 4 Glanrafon Terrace, near Bryn Llys, and then ‘loaned’ fraudster Jonathan Duggan the money to buy the land attached to the house. Done so Duggan could extend his holding and lay an unauthorised access road. (Bryn Llys is now called ‘Snowdon Summit View’.)

Which landed Duggan in court. I wrote about it a few weeks ago in Bryn Llys, the Liverpool connection.

From 2010 onwards there were also regular mentions of Gwynfryn in page-fillers often headed ‘Buildings at risk’ until, in 2018, we started reading that the charred old pile was for sale, with an asking price of £500,000.

Let’s get up to date.


The original title document states that in April 1980 a couple named Hooper sold what remained of the Gwynfryn estate to Global Leisure Ltd. In 1995 it was transferred to Magnet International Holdings Ltd, a Guernsey-registered company. Magnet was compulsorily struck off in 2006.

UPDATE 19.10.2020: From Companies House in Guernsey I have now received more information on Magnet International Holdings Ltd. As might be expected with Channel Islands registrations, it’s just one company hiding behind another.

The shareholders are all companies using the name ‘Bachmann’ followed by a different Greek letter. Possibly this Peter John Bachmann.

While the listed directors are ADL One Limited and ADL Two Limited, both linked with a long list of mainly property companies. All of them using PO Box 175 in St Peter Port, Guernsey.

But, strangely, no mention of Philip Bush, who has owned the property throughout this period.

Image: Daily Mail. Gwynfryn, click to enlarge

If we carry on reading the title document we see that in June 2018: “Copy filed under CYM745545. 4 (28.06.2018) The land edged . . . has been removed from this title and registered under the title number . . . “ The property description has been altered to reflect the land alone remaining in the original title.

And confirming that the house is now registered under CYM745545, and owned by Aaron Hill. Who is said to have paid £100,000 for the ruin.

Unfortunately, the Land Registry does not offer maps with either title.


Leaving the land around the house owned by Philip Andrew Bush, using as his address a PO box in Switzerland. Bush may be a successor to Magnet International Holdings.

He seems to be an interesting character, though getting information on him is not easy. Largely because he operates through foreign and offshore companies. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Bush is mentioned in the Paradise Papers.

Where he’s linked with Realmar Shipping Limited of Malta, as both director and judicial representative. If you have time, click on the J B Sorotto node, with its 74 connections.

Image: Offshore Leaks site maintained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Please make a donation. Click to enlarge

The only UK-based company I can find for Bush is Bush Shipping Limited, dissolved in 2010. Documents are available, including the final accounts.

The address given for Bush Shipping is 77 Walton Street, Chelsea. Since 2008 it has been home to Jak’s Cafe & Deli.

Of perhaps more interest is this Annual Return (to Companies House) from 2006. The other directors appear to be his daughters, but it’s the division of the 10,000 shares I found interesting. For Bush has just one share in his name, the other 9,999 are held by International Nominees SA, with an address in Switzerland.

Though the Paradise Papers tell us that International Nominees SA is actually based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). In fairness, I suppose the company could have moved since that document was filed with Companies House in 2006.

So, the man who owns the land around Gwynfryn is involved in shipping and a network – or networks – of offshore companies.


We know the house and the land were owned under one title by Philip Andrew Bush, who may or may not have been a successor to the companies that had earlier owned the property, Global Leisure and Magnet International Holdings.

A number of reports from 2018/19 suggested that the house and the land were for sale together. This Facebook page tells us that someone believed this was still the case as late as November 2019.

Yet, as we’ve seen, the house was detached from the original title, and that new title bought by Aaron Hill 12 June 2018. So why did people over a year later think the house and land were still for sale?

Click to enlarge

And as if that wasn’t enough ducking and weaving, ‘now you see me, now you don’t’, who’s that over in the trees, in camouflage fatigues, watching Gwynfryn through his high powered binoculars? Well, bless me! – it’s Bore Grylls!

Because the address for Bore’s Dragon Raiders Activity Park is ‘Gwynfryn Lodge’. In addition, he owns a tract of woodland that belonged to the original estate.

Grylls is always looking to buy more of Wales so I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he’s interested in buying the Gwynfryn land from Philip Bush. This would be one explanation for why it’s no longer for sale.

Which leaves the house, or what remains of it. Is Grylls also after that?

Because I’m still not clear why Aaron Hill bought Gwynfryn. I’m pretty sure he has neither the expertise nor the money to restore it. In fact, he may have no intention of restoring Gwynfryn.

Though others appear to have plans for Gwynfryn.


For last year Cyngor Gwynedd received a pre-application enquiry to turn the old house into “30 residential units”. The inquiry came from Partington & Associates Ltd of Chorley, Lancashire, on behalf of DM Property Group Ltd.

(What I’m referring to with this ‘enquiry’ is an approach from a developer to gauge the planning authority’s likely response; with the response influencing whether a planning application is submitted.)

Partington seems to be a genuine company, it’s certainly been going for a few years.  Though the information available with Companies House is pretty skeletal it does tell us that a director of Partington, who owns 50% of the shares, is David George Taylor.

Taylor turns up again as a director of DM Property Group. There’s little information available on DM Property because it was only formed in August 2019. Though Companies House can tell us that the other director is Michelle May Sturdy, who shares an address with Taylor.

An even more recent creation of Taylor and Sturdy is DM Commercial Property Group Ltd. Formed in June this year.

When she’s not planning property empires with David Taylor it seems Michelle Sturdy runs the local chippy.

So David Taylor of Partington & Associates has put in a pre-planning enquiry for himself and his other company, DM Property Group. Why couldn’t it have been done through DM Property?

To help you along here’s the council’s reply to Partington from November last year and here’s a notice that Partington, on behalf of DM Property, is going ahead with the planning application. The second document handily provides a link to drawings and other documentation.

Image: Partington & Associates. Click to enlarge

If we follow the road connecting the Plas with the highway we see that it runs through Cabin Wood and on to the lodge or gatehouse, owned by the maggot-munching man of action.


It could be that given Hill’s links with the Duggan gang at Bryn Llys, and the notoriety they’ve attracted, he might have thought he had more chance of getting planning approval for 30 residential units at Gwynfryn if the application came from someone else.

Another possibility is that a deal has been struck, conditional on planning permission being granted. By which I mean, DM Property will buy Gwynfryn from Hill but only if it gets planning permission.

What other reasons might there be for a company to submit a planning application for a property it doesn’t own? I’m open to suggestions.

Of course, there is the possibility that what’s planned for the old house forms part of a bigger project. Which is why I raised the possibilty of Bore Grylls being involved.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that Grylls would be involved in anything shady, but who can forget his ill-starred association with Gavin Lee Woodhouse at the Afan Valley Adventure Resort.

Click to enlarge

Woodhouse, the self-styled ‘Wolf of Wharf Street’, came to a sticky end when his empire – built on selling rooms in his hotels as ‘investments’, also rooms in care homes that he never bothered building – was exposed last year.

If you didn’t catch them first time round, here’s what the Guardian had to say about Woodhouse, and here’s the ITV News’ verdict. (It was a joint investigation.)

I first wrote about the dynamic duo as early as April 2017, with English Tourism in the Colony of Wales. And many times afterwards. Many, many times.

Having been taken in by a con man I suppose we should be thankful Grylls is still with us. For it’s surely a miracle he survived all those SAS missions when instantly recognising and taking out the bad guys is a matter of life or death.

(Big sigh of relief! Touches wood.)

UPDATE 30.09.2020: I regret to inform you that Bore Grylls is no longer involved with Dragon Raiders at Llanystumdwy. Such a pity, as I enjoy writing about him. However . . .

A source tells me that those behind the Gwynfryn project are Anthony John Wilmott and James Edward Armstrong.

A company mentioned was Acquérir, where Armstrong is the sole director according to Companies House. This is a company offering, “Hands-off investing for the foreign investor”.

Though Wilmott has his companies AC Property Group Ltd and QA JV Ltd, both of which are also very new.

Where we find find Armstrong and Wilmott together is in Armstrong Wilmott Ltd, a company Incorporated as recently as last September.

My source further suggests that these two whizz-kids may have learnt all they know from motormouth Samuel Leeds. In this video we see Leeds talking with – or to – David Taylor of Partington & Associates and DM Property Group.

It’s said that Wilmott and Armstrong have exchanged contracts with Aaron Hill conditional on Taylor getting planning permission.

The picture at Gwynfryn is not yet high definition but definitely getting clearer. And if Armstrong and Wilmott are offering investment opportunities to foreign investors then, who knows, Gwynfryn could soon be owned by men with fur hats and snow on their boots!

‘Oh what a tangled web we weave . . . ‘.


Cyngor Gwynedd’s planners will no doubt insist that planning law must be adhered to. That’s their job. Though some of them have, in recent years, been far too zealous in accommodating ‘developers’.

So how is it likely to pan out?

The council’s planning officers will probably recommend that the planning committee (made up of councillors) approves the application for 30 residential units at Gwynfryn. I expect the committee to reject the recommendation and refuse planning permission.

The applicant(s) may at that stage appeal. If so, it becomes the responsibility of the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ to appoint an inspector to review the case and come to a decision that may over-rule the council planning committee.

This is where the farce turns into a charade. Because the ‘Welsh Government’ has no authority over the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate is run from London and invariably makes decisions against the Welsh national interest.

The bottom line is that we are helpless in the face of the onslaught represented by planning applications like this turning us into strangers in our own country. Helpless bystanders as Wales becomes England’s playground.

Even so . . .

It must be established who owns Gwynfryn.

What must also be established is the relationship between Aaron Hill, Partington & Associates / DM Property, Samuel Leeds, James Armstrong and Anthony Wilmott, and anyone else who might still be lurking in the shadows.

Also, the ownership of the land formerly linked with the house needs to be clarified, not least because so many offshore owners have been involved in the past. There is also the possibility that the plan for the Plas may be part of something bigger.

Let’s have the truth. Something so often absent from planning applications in Wales.


As I’ve said more than once . . . what passes for the UK economy is whatever best suits the City of London; that island unto itself floating on a cess-pit of corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance.

In Wales we see the ripples from the cess-pit in the form of crooks and shysters turning up looking for something to buy in order to launder money, or an address from which to operate shell companies.

(I’m not talking now of the Gwynfryn application but of countless other stories I’ve brought you over the years.)

Yet if devolution was what it pretends to be, if those in Corruption Bay were what they want us to believe they are, then this application at Llanystumdwy wouldn’t even get past the pre-application enquiry stage.

For the applicants would be told, ‘No, we don’t need this development because it offers nothing to the local area or to Wales other than further colonisation. Consequently, there is no point in you submitting a full planning application. Goodbye’.

It’s because we can’t do this that I don’t want to hear any more nonsense about “Making devolution work”, or that things would be so much better if only there was a different party managing the show.

Devolution is not supposed to ‘work’ for Wales; it is a purely cosmetic measure. Designed to give the Labour Party opportunities for cronyism and patronage, and Plaid Cymru a “Pocket money parliament”. (© N. McEvoy.)

Which is why it’s futile to try tinkering with devolution. Only independence can solve our problems and prevent Wales being completely assimilated into England.

And time is short.

♦ end ♦


56 thoughts on “‘Residential units’ – how many is too many?

  1. Dave Morris

    Hi Jac.
    Love your stuff, moved to Wales 15 Years ago and think of myself now officially adopted!
    You had me laughing out loud with Adrian Parsons quote about the sex mad guy, I played Rugby with Adrian many moons ago and I remember Years later him and his partner making a 4/5 part documentary about their sex lives in Swingers and BDSM clubs, the guy is in good company, Channel 4 if I remember rightly.
    Keep up the good work.

      1. Anonymous

        Who knows what goes on, I’ve been here in my little secluded farm for Years now and without your blog I’d have no idea what goes on.
        Adrian Parsons was a character and a half, a look into his life should be an interesting one for you if he would ever come to Wales 😂😂

  2. Dafis

    I read elsewhere that : “Welsh Government considering using powers to stop travel from high-Covid areas of England”

    Considering ? That stage of deliberation should have been expedited weeks ago, as soon as areas of Northern England and South Wales were placed under restrictions. The restraints on “travel in and out” should have been applied immediately to those English areas i.e No person from Wales would be allowed either in or out of say Bolton or the other communities affected, and reciprocally no person from any of the restricted areas could be allowed into Wales. Instead we’ve been lumbered with a tentative “let’s not upset the English” bullshit hand wringing response.

    1. I guarantee that what will decide the action or lack of it will not be what’s best for Wales but the reaction expected from England.

  3. Dafis

    For the avoidance of doubt, the garbage spouted below came from Boris and his muppet Shapps, not from me. The enlarged version is found at https://businessnewswales.com/independent-review-for-transport-infrastructure-across-wales/

    First – “The United Kingdom is the greatest political partnership the world has ever seen, and we need transport links between our nations that are as strong as our historic bonds. “Quality transport links are the key to making sure everyone can access education, jobs and housing, helping businesses to grow and thrive and rebalancing opportunity fairly across our country.”

    Second – “The UK Government has invested millions in Wales’ rail infrastructure, including on station improvements and speeding up journeys. But we are committed to making further significant improvements for travellers across Wales, leading to better-connected communities and greater opportunities for people across the county. This review comes at a crucial time for when we must make decisions around how best we grow our economy, strengthen the United Kingdom and its internal market and promote the creation of new jobs to level up every part of Wales and the UK.”

    And last – ” Connecting our towns, cities and communities through better transport links is at the heart of this Government’s work to fuel our economic recovery. That’s why we need to look at how we can improve the transport landscape across the UK, levelling up people’s access to work and education, and bringing communities closer together.”

    Enough to bring up one’s breakfast, well almost. I wonder whether the possibility of reopening a rail link between Aber and Carmarthen or even a tidying of the A470 will ever be considered by these geniuses. We’re not holding our breath here in the Dafis house. An even bigger vision for North South connectivity doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever featuring.

  4. Dafis

    Imperial power threatens to overrule non compliant colonial government :


    Evidently some of Boris’ chums got left out of juicy deals like HS2 or Trident and are now barking at his door for a slice of the goodies. Boris, becoming more weak and wobbly a la Mrs May daily, will try his best to keep them sweet. After all what’s the point of being a big boss if you can’t look after your mates ( donors) ?

  5. Dafis

    Fresh from Bay funded Plaid mouthpiece :


    Much is made of Tories being Anglo/London centric. What a big surprise, twas ever thus. Now morons wanting to spot weakness in Tory stance have spotted how things have gone a bit haywire in Scotland. Like it hasn’t been happening over a decade or more and gathered momentum since 2014-16. Shame they can’t contrast that with the debacle in Wales where we are heading for yet another term of Labour, or Labour with a little helper, because the little helper can’t stand the thought of working with anybody else. Hasn’t crossed their minds that there may be Tories in the Welsh group who would love to work independently of London HQ just to get away from the Boris/Gove clusterfuck?

    1. I’m coming round to the belief that there are many in the Tory Party, and certainly among the BritNat right, who could live with ‘losing’ Scotland and, perhaps, Wales. Not because they wish us well but because the see advantages to such a situation.

      England free of ‘whining’ Jocks and Taffs (plus Paddies) would be almost a one-party state. Westminster would not have responsibility for the former territories, wouldn’t need to put in any money, but could could still exercise control in the way Vlad does over former territories of the Soviet Union. Latvia, for example, serves as a clearing house for oligarchs’ money. Maybe that’s the future lined up for Wales.

      And if it was, and if it came to pass, then those clowns down Corruption Bay would try to take credit for it by crowing about ‘Wales’ burgeoning financial sector’.

      1. Dafis

        …”then those clowns down Corruption Bay would try to take credit for it by crowing about ‘Wales’ burgeoning financial sector’.”

        That sounds like a potential doomsday scenario with Cardiff Bay and its environs running the money laundering while the Government of the People’s Republic acts as clearing house for the bits of grant aid and handouts they would beg off UN, EU and anyone else they could tap. Rest of Wales could then go and fuck itself. Much like nowadays.

      2. Dafis

        Even Simon Hart, arch loyalist and wedded to all sorts of hierarch obligations seems to have got a bit uppity.


        Naturally a bit pissed off cos Madame Patel left him out of some loops so he voices concern. Had he been in those loops you can be assured he’d have shifted heaven and earth to help out the old boot. But getting left out could be start of more dissent and division among the provincial ranks.

          1. Dafis

            Probably ignored the Labour regime and dealt through some of those colonial officers seconded to the Bay and Cathays Park.

              1. Dafis

                Well we know broadly that there’s something lurking in there but precisely who these fuckers are, which post holders in which departments, remains to be defined clearly. Such is the nature of covert activity.

              2. Brychan

                Simon Hart is the ‘Secretary of State for Wales’, the unelected gofer of the British Prime Minister.

                Just someone appointed to sit at the top table and plays no useful role other than the viceroy badge wearer. He’s like the one who wears the ‘Assistant Manager’ badge at McDonalds. In the case of Simple Simon, he has the use of the padded chair at cabinet meetings is not allowed to criticize bad decisions by the government.

                This is unlike other Tory MPs like the member for Folkestone and Hythe who are backbenchers and is outspoken about the use of Napier barracks in his constituency for dumping ‘asylum seekers’. Of course, Napier barracks has resulted in the local MP there getting millions of pounds for Kent County Council and a directly funded GP, dentist, a maximum occupation threshold and it’s own mobile testing unit for Covid. Simple Simon the badge wearer for Penally barracks, however, can do no such thing. Told to shut up and given a little gold star on his lapel badge.

                It’s civil servants in Whitehall get to do the ordering of duvets and happy meals for Penally.

              3. Wrexhamian

                The Ministry of Defence probably don’t have to consult anyone in Wales about what they do with their military bases in Cymru (62 of them in all) since their power trumps that of any Welsh institution including the WAG when it comes to those sites. It was a private deal between the MOD and the Home Office and nobody else needed to be consulted. Wales can no more have prevented this arrangement than they could prevent jet fighters from RAF Valley disturbing the peace in Gwynedd.

                Expect more of this high-handedness from Johnson when he orders the start of work on the M4 extension. Likewise the A55. But don’t expect any North-South railway links or Camarthen to Aber.

  6. Neil Singleton

    Although Plaid likes to assert that Labour has been continuously in power since the inception of the Assembly, no one should forget the disastrous Labour/Plaid coalition from 2007 to 2010 (also ignoring the earlier Labour/Lib Dem coalition). Ieuan Wyn Jones assumed the role of Minister for Economic Development, an appointment that he was completely unfitted to perform. This period followed the damaging decision (by Rhodri Morgan) to scrap the WDA, and Ieuan Wyn’s only interest was in establishing “Ieuan Air” at huge subsidised cost, and (unsuccessfully) fiddling about trying to introduce broadband in the area around his constituency. I am informed that he only visited Swansea and South West Wales twice in his 4 year ministerial career. A more inept politician it would be hard to find, until the clueless Drakeford was later appointed well above his competence to be Health Minister.

  7. Dafis

    On a wet quiet Friday I just have to go off topic :


    I guess that’s Adam electing to opt for trench warfare when a guerilla campaign of sustained attacks on the governing party is needed. I thought he was a pacifist but this is spoiling for a fight that need not happen. He’s not much cop at picking fights, maybe he’ll have better luck pickin his nose ! At this rate he’s going to be in Opposition till he gets his pension.

    1. It’s becoming more and more obvious that Plaid has lined up a coalition with Labour. So why should anyone vote for Labour’s little helpers when they can vote for Labour?

    2. Sion Blewyn Coch

      Roll up, roll up…for the fight of the century. The “Rumble in the Mumbles”…where Adam Price takes on his toughest opponent yet, a wet paper bag (my money is on the bag!!!)

  8. Brychan

    I think we can safely say that these ‘residential units’ at Plas Gwynfryn will be self contained retirement flats, marketed as leasehold. Granny dumping. The business plan is likely to be to get elderly from semi-detached Cheshire to sell their freehold there to be duped into a country leasehold which will come with a crippling service charge.

    This is the usual destination for a county mansion of this type.

    However, Armstrong and Wilmott no doubt cannot afford the development cost so will try to ‘package’ a dodgy scheme. A form of ‘coal exchange’ pyramid investment only in this case the mugs will be English retirees rather than wannabe Cardiff yuppies. There will be two types of victim, Granny Frodsham and Dennis Quickbuck.

    Also, it will be Cyngor Gwynedd which will be landed with the mess. Two fold, firstly with a half developed pile on Penrhyn Llŷn, but also a load of imported grannies needing sheltered accommodation displacing the local provision. This type of development does nothing to provide for local housing demand.

    1. Information from the area suggests there are both bats and owls at the Gwynfryn ruin, which will not hep the applicants.

      Also, I’m told that Armstrong and Wilmott have paid Aaron Hill a deposit, with the remainder payable when planning permission is granted. Given that neither Armstrong nor Wilmott have much experience in the property business – and little training apart from watching YouTube videos – I’m wondering where they plan on getting the funding if planning permission is granted. Cos they’ll need a lot of it. Is there yet another player hiding in the wings?

  9. YBarddCwsc

    Excellent sleuthing to track down the chancers behind Gwynfryn !

    Note the the Council Tax surcharge on second homes is highly relevant to this project.

    If the surcharge was 100 or 200 per cent, then — even if Gwynfryn gets planning permission — it become much, much less commercially viable as a project.

    Those residential units are not so desirable, if they come with a swingeing tax bill.

    And Cyngor Gwynedd is of course controlled by Plaid Cymru.

    Plaid Cymru could do something about the council tax surcharge right now.

    1. It wasn’t really sleuthing, it was more a case of ‘information received’. Now I wonder if the two tyros are fronting for anyone else. Because the Acquirer website says quite clearly that the company is targeting foreign investors.Acquirer

      It begins to look more and more iffy.

      As for council tax, I’ve made the point elsewhere that in its document last week Plaid Cymru demanded a 200% surcharge on holiday homes yet in Gwynedd it’s just 50%, while in Labour-run Swansea it’s 100%. Plaid Cymru should practice what it preaches.

  10. Dafis

    Off topic try this:


    “A Whitehall brainstorming session prompted by Priti Patel led to the idea being floated of sending asylum seekers to a volcanic island in the South Atlantic, the Guardian understands.” but along came the Welsh government with an offer of sanctuary in Sir Benfro which the MOD’s estates contractors were happy to support. Hey ho yet another day in the assimilation and subjugation game.

    1. Yesterday I read a report saying that those coming to Penally are Kurds. Now this was never mentioned before and so I can’t help wondering if it’s been introduced to make them more acceptable in certain quarters. It was certainly stated that they were coming from Afghanistan, where I don’t think there are any Kurds.

      The truth seems to be elusive. As is so often the case when dealing with those bastards up in London.

      1. Brychan

        The linguistic origin of the ‘summer inflatable crossings’ of the English channel are Eritrea, Chad, Egypt, and Sudan. They have a distinctive form of east African Arabic and are economic refugees. They are not from Iraq or Syria. That’s just a false claim for veracity of the asylum application. This is the lingua franca of the Calais encampment and it is an assembly of trafficked suspects controlled by Egyptian criminal gangs.

        The ‘Kurdish’ rumour has it’s origin in a Dutch police operation in 2019 where a number of trafficking cells were busted in the Netherlands. This was ‘flower lorries’ for clandestine crossings. It’s drugs related, a distraction find in HGV stops.

        Dutch or other EU citizens of Kurdish origin are recruited to pose as refugees through Dover, and if successful they just go back via Hoek Van Holland. If unsuccessful their role and are paid to pose as refugees to buy enough time to close down that particular line of supply in narcotics. They have the advantage of being able to pose as Iraqi, and a fake asylum application by such a mule having been caught prevents then being passed into a policing investigation.

        The Home Office in the UK do not disclose the claimed origin of applicants.

        The media coverage of the issue in England is Guardian v Mail. It sells papers. The broadcast media like the BBC like to wallow in liberal docu-sympathy as if England is the centre of the universe with pangs of Britain is Best as a desired destination for asylum. A better picture of the situation can be found in European media, both left and right bias. They paint a very different narrative.

            1. Dafis

              Wrong again boys. That’s a crew from Crymych warming up for a bit of socialising in Cardigan. Things very quiet down there since the Maenclochog Gay Pride event got called off. Next year they are thinking of merging the event with the annual bash of the Ceredigion Sheep shearers community which is being moved from Tregaron at the request of the National Eisteddfod management who don’t like “rough people” mixing with crachach !

            2. Rhosddu

              Just to repeat what I pointed out in Jac’s previous post (Miscellany), the claim by the BBC, Drakeford, and the woman from Extinction Rebellion is a bogus one in order to dampen the outcry. Locals are not in fact “welcoming” but furious about the actions of the Home Office in dumping the illegal migrants in their village. Those protesting outside the army camp were all local people, with not an English fascist or racist in site. No Nazis either.

              This just in: The migrants are complaining that they don’t want to be in Wales but want to go to London. My guess is they’ll be on the first train outa here if the guards drop their guard.

              1. Brychan

                I suspect that the MoD provsion is nothing to do with being nice to asylum seekers.

                There are plans are afoot to sell or dispose of chunks of real estate and development sites in Pembrokeshire into the private sector at prices locals cannot afford.


                I forsee a smattering of holiday homes on the Penally site long after the ‘asylum seekers’ have absconded. It will be presented as a solution to a problem created.

  11. Dafis

    These are quite serious allegations about Plaid councillors in Gwynedd. Are other councillors from other parties, or independents, also implicated ? I’m surprised that no party has used such damning “evidence” when campaigning, against Plaid for instance, which suggests that there may be a prevalent “cross-party” culture of investing in holiday homes and similar developments. This would make it a taboo subject, a guarantee of “mutual destruction” if it became public knowledge. It’s bad enough when politicians and officials don’t act because they are a touch lazy or out of their depth, but to find that they may be enjoying the benefits of these developments makes it even worse. Pretty sickening stuff.

  12. YBarddCwsc

    Jac noted this on his twitter feed a while back

    40 per cent of Plaid Cymru AMs own second homes/holiday lets. (Only the Brexit Party has a higher percentage).

    It would be very, very interesting to see the figures for Gwynedd Councillors. My impression is that many Gwynedd Councillors also own second homes/holiday lets. The same is true of Gwynedd Council Officers.

    I suspect that this is not unconnected with the lax planning regime and the desultory efforts by Gwynedd Council to tackle second home/holiday home ownership.

    Some (many?) of the Councillors themselves would feel the impact personally.

    1. I noticed that in its ‘independence’ document produced last week, Plaid Cymru called on the ‘Welsh Government’ to introduce a 200% surcharge for holiday homes. Yet in Gwynedd, controlled by Plaid Cymru, the current surcharge is just 50%. Whereas in Labour-controlled Swansea it’s 100%. If Gwynedd planners and councillors own holiday lets themselves – as we see with Plaid leader in Carmarthenshire, Emlyn ‘Two Barns’ Dole – then this might explain why, for all the rhetoric, Plaid Cymru is reluctant to implement its own recommendations.

      1. YBarddCwsc

        Well, I know one senior Plaid Cymru Councillor in Gwynedd who definitely owns at least THREE properties.

        It certainly make it understandable why Gwynedd Council was so very slow in introducing even a 50 per cent Council Tax surcharge. They only acted reluctantly, and after scores of other Welsh & English Councils had done it.

        For all Plaid Cymru’s bluster, Gwynedd acted after the Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Ceredigion, etc.

        Senior Council/Local Government jobs are probably amongst the very highest salaried jobs in Gwynedd. If you have lots of surplus cash, then property is a very natural investment.

        Are Councillors second homes/holiday lets recorded by Gwynedd Council under conflict of interest ?

        If so, let’s see if we can get the data. I bet — like the Plaid Cymru AMs — ir is about 40 per cent. There is a big lobby against any changes that will cost second home Councillors personally.

        1. Sion Blewyn Coch

          Not a shock really is it…..”do as I say, not as I do”. If the local populace just copy that of the carpetbaggers there’s no hope. All comes down to the selfish society created by that witch Thatcher.

          1. YBarddCwsc

            The second homes issue is not at all difficult to fix — if the political will is there.

            Second homes can be taxed out of existence. Unlike people, houses don’t move and they can be easily taxed.

            Plaid Cymru just do not have the political will.

            I predict that tourist-ridden parts of England will fix the second home problem long before desultory & lumbering Gwynedd. They will fix it with swingeing taxes.

            Plaid Cymru like to huff and puff, but they don’t really want to blow the second home down.

            1. Dafis

              ……..Plaid Cymru like to huff and puff, but they don’t really want to blow the second home down…… especially when one of their own is profiting from it !

  13. Wynne

    Anyone can apply for planning permission on any land but if they do not own the land a legal notice has to be served on the landowner and a certificate presented to the local planning authority to confirm that notice has been served. This forms part of the planning application. The information should be in the public domain on planning portal. The relevant certificates are included at the end of planning application form.

    1. Yes, I’ve come across countless cases where an agent or an architect applies on behalf of the owner. But in this case, Partington & Associates is applying on behalf of DM Property Group with no mention of the owner, Aaron Hill.

  14. Wynne

    I’m currently turning my attention to the new development site of 28 dwellings by Mill Bay Homes at Templeton. Planning policy, as set out in adopted LDP, requires 15% affordable dwellings to be provided at Templeton, i.e. 4 dwellings. The developer argued that it would not be financially viable for them to develop the site if affordable housing was to be provided. The Council agreed with their assessment. The result, no affordable housing to be provided. The phrase “tail wagging the dog” springs to mind. Developers are now in control of the planning process and explain to the Local Planning Authority what they are prepared to deliver, regardless of what development standard is set out in the adopted LDP.

    1. Thanks, Wynne. Other readers may need to be reminded that Mill Bay Homes began life as a subsidiary of the Pembrokeshire Housing Association (since renamed Ateb). This is where it’s gone wrong – housing associations, usually through subsidiaries, building homes in Wales for sale to buyers from outside of Wales, while failing to build the social rented housing Wales needs because so many locals can no longer compete for open market housing.

      1. Sion Blewyn Coch

        From TAN2 2006

        5.0 Affordable housing and land use planning
        (Policy Map Step 2)
        5.1 The definition of ‘affordable housing’ for the purpose
        of the land use planning system as described in this Technical
        Advice Note is housing where there are secure mechanisms
        in place to ensure that it is accessible to those who cannot
        afford market housing, both on first occupation and for
        subsequent occupiers. However, it is recognised that some
        schemes may provide for staircasing to full ownership and where
        this is the case there must be secure arrangements in place to
        ensure the recycling of capital receipts to provide replacement
        affordable housing. (Also see Glossary at Annex B). Affordable
        housing includes:
        • Social rented housing;
        • Intermediate housing.
        5.2 Social rented housing is that provided by local authorities
        and registered social landlords. Intermediate housing is that where
        prices or rents are above those of social rent but below market
        housing prices or rents.
        5.3 All other types of housing are referred to as “market
        housing” – that is private housing for sale or rent where the price
        is set in the open market and their occupation is not subject to
        control by the local planning authority.
        5.4 The strong presumption is that affordable housing will
        be provided on the application site so that it contributes to the
        development of socially mixed communities.

        There’s your definition, Jac. Goes on to say that Affordable housing needs to be incorporated into all LDPs but fails to give percentages…prefers guidance.

        However, as LDPs have to guarantee a % of all developments be Affordable, the Local councils have to decide on a level….which then has to be agreed in their LDP. However, if Developer A decides he doesn’t want to play ball in creating “socially mixed communities” feel free to enter into horse trading with said Council, and feel free to appeal to the inspectorate.

        Basically, do the fuck as you please. all developers are at it, even the supposed Welsh ones. It’s a fuckin con.

        1. Yes, I read that years ago. But ‘affordable housing’ never means social rented housing. It usually means something like ‘shared ownership’.

          What’s worse, the scam now extends to private companies like Mill Bay Homes, formerly a subsidiary of a RSL, offering a share in a lease to people who don’t quite understand what they’re getting into but believe they’re buying a share in a freehold property. A share they can increase until they own that property outright. But they never will.

          This is being allowed by the ‘Welsh Government’ that, in other circumstances, is unequivocal in its condemnation of the leasehold system. What’s worse is that many of these leasehold properties are built with public money unlawfully diverted from the parent or ex-parent RSL.

  15. YBarddCwsc

    It is interesting.

    The property developer in his planning application asserted there was a train station in Dolgellau.

    This is perhaps unsurprising, as the developer lives in Manchester and knows nothing about Wales.

    The Planning Officer failed to notice & correct the blunder. This shows the low standard of the Planning Officers on Gwynedd Council.

    Councillor Sion Jones (Bethel) just read what was written by the applicant in the planning application and assumed that it must be true.

    Councillor Sion Jones then asserted verbally at the Planning Meeting that there was a train station in Dolgellau (objectors cannot speak at the meeting). No Councillor corrected him (although presumably they cannot all have been as pig-ignorant as Sion).

    Of course, the objectors pointed out it was untrue in their written comments on the application. I expect Sion ‘Man of the People’ Jones didn’t bother to read those comments.

    We should keep our eyes on Sion — I expect he will go far.

    Next stop must surely be Labour PPC for one of the winnable North Walian seats in 2024.

  16. YBarddCwsc

    Welcome back.

    In my experience, to get Gwynedd Council on-side, you merely have to state that your planning application for huge holiday homes or a split level pizza parlour or a zipwire tourist attraction will create X jobs for the locals.

    No-one will ever check, so you can make X as ridiculously big as you like. If X is as big as 50, then the members of the Planning Committee will be on their knees, thanking you.

    The Planning Officers are out of their depth and easily bullied by developers with ostensible money, prestige and/or connections.

    The Councillors are desperate for investment in Gwynedd, and so any ludicrously untrue story peppered with phrases like “local jobs” and “wealth creation” will get through.

    The various flavours of “Independent” Councillors are actually by far the worst in terms of malleability — there is some slight signs of backbone in some of the Plaid Cymru Councillors.

    1. Thank you.

      This proposed development which, from what I can see, is 30 self-contained flats, won’t even be able to offer many jobs beyond the building stage.

      1. Sion Blewyn Coch

        It’s the same old problem, shitty jobs for the locals…on a temporary/term basis. all profits made via any operational experience or from selling, at an inflated amount, fucks off out of the Country. Planning Committee’s have the power to put orders in respect of “profits” made in resell clauses but invariably don’t….wonder why not? Would be interesting to know what, if any, clauses are in effect for Surf Snowdonia, owned by people from NW England, with Welsh Assembly support.

        You can build a house anywhere you want in Wales, if the Council has failed to build as many properties as stated in their 5 year plans, which they all have. Developer appeals to Assembly and the independent assessor ALWAYS finds in their favour as the Council’s have “failed to meet their legal requirements” and, therefore, there is an inherent requirement for another 60 or so 5 bedroom houses, where they will then do deals to mitigate the percentage that has to be set aside for “affordable housing”…..the people buying these 5 bed monsters don’t want common scum living near them you know.

        1. Councils fail to hit unreasonable targets set by the Planning Inspectorate and so the Planning Inspectorate uses this to allow more housing for which there is no local demand. It’s a hell of a system.

          The pretence has been maintained for years that the Planning Inspectorate is somehow under the control of the ‘Welsh Government. Perhaps realising that few people believe this any longer it was announced in May 2019 that Wales is to have its own Planning Inspectorate. We have heard nothing more.

          As for ‘affordable housing’, just ask a politician, or a planner, to explain what it means. A term I have seen used outside Wales is ‘social rented housing’, and I believe it’s a term we need to start using.

      2. YBarddCwsc

        I wouldn’t even be confident about the building jobs.

        In a recent development in Dolgellau, a van simply dropped off the East European builders/carpenters/plasterers in the morning & picked them up in the evening to take them back to Manchester.

        The planning application bragged of local jobs — all that has been created is a single, part-time, low-grade cleaning job.

        Completely predictable — but all the “Independent” Councillors from South Gwynedd (the Godawful Louise Hughes and the Dewi Owens of this world) were howling about how it would bring jobs, money and prosperity to the area.

        The Planning Committee meeting was remarkable because it made clear to me how really thick most of the Councillors are. The proposer — a Mancunian businessman — was able to run rings round them. The ineffectual Council Planning Officer seemed to suffer from low self-esteem and confidence problems. She would not be able to oppose anything. It is all too easy for English braggarts and bullies to bulldoze through them.

        The thickest Councillor in Gwynedd (Labour’s Sion Jones) actually explained to the Planning Committee that — because Dolgellau has a railway station — there would be no problems with the parking. 😁

        It was a remarkably comic yet sad moment !

        1. We know planners and politicians can be bullied and bamboozled, but if we had a media, or a political opposition, to hold them to account it might not matter so much.

          I cannot believe that Sion Jones thought there was a railway station in Dolgellau. On what line did he imagine it was?

          1. Dafis

            He was working off the 1959 edition of the British Rail map. Good job he didn’t plan on catching a train from there. Twat !

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