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Ex-coun­cil­lor owner in prison

OR­GAN­IS­ERS of Bangor’s big­gest ever fes­tive event say it will act as a spring­board to fu­ture ex­trav­a­gan­zas af­ter claim­ing it is the busiest the cen­tre has been in 30 years.

Thou­sands of peo­ple packed the city’s streets to at­tend the first two-day Christ­mas Cracker fea­tur­ing a Euro­pean food mar­ket, bands and an ice rink.

The project which also saw per­for­mances from lo­cal choirs, a Santa’s Grotto and Christ­mas A HOL­I­DAY park owned by jailed for­mer coun­cil­lor John Arthur Jones has gone on the mar­ket for more than £2m.

Parc Cefni was set up by the for­mer di­rec­tor of hous­ing at Anglesey coun­cil, who is serv­ing 18 months af­ter be­ing found guilty of en­dan­ger­ing jets by shin­ing a pow­er­ful torch as they flew over the park where he also lived.

Ju­rors at his trial ear­lier this year heard he had be­come ob­sessed with air­craft fly­ing into RAF Mona, and caused dan­ger­ous dis­trac­tions chalets, ended with a fire­work dis­play on Satur­day evening.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple lin­ing the streets who came out to en­joy the event also took part in a man­nequin chal­lenge.

The Christ­mas Cracker event comes af­ter a ma­jor­ity vote took place in April to cre­ate a Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Dis­trict (BID) in the city to re­gen­er­ate the ap­peal of the Wales’ long­est High Street.

The team be­hind the event hailed it to be a “fan­tas­tic suc­cess”. to pi­lots dur­ing their night time train­ing sor­ties.

Jones said he had adopted the dan­ger­ous prac­tice af­ter the RAF re­fused to al­ter their flight path to avoid his home.

He claimed he was wor­ried about chil­dren in a nearby pri­vate nurs­ery and his ac­tions had noth­ing to do with the fact that none of the hol­i­day lodges he was plan­ning on the site had been sold, al­legedly be­cause peo­ple were put off by the noise of the jets.

The five acre fa­cil­ity near the Cefni reser­voir on Anglesey is de­scribed by es­tate agents Carter

Haydn Davies, Chair­man of Bangor BID board said Bangor has not seen its High Street so busy for decades.

“The whole event was bril­liantly suc­cess­ful,” he said, “Fri­day was a suc­cess but the weather was against us. Satur­day how­ever was a fan­tas­tic day. We’ve never seen the high street busier in 30 years, it was in­cred­i­ble.

“The live en­ter­tain­ment which ran through the night was fan­tas­tic, we had lo­cal choirs and Jonas, who are mar­ket­ing it at £2.25m, as an “ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity to buy an es­tab­lished busi­ness park and tim­ber lodge hol­i­day park”.

An of­fice block on the site is mainly leased to small busi­ness own­ers, with plan­ning per­mis­sion in place to build 22 hol­i­day lodges, a cafe and restau­rant, and a pri­vate sewage treat­ment plant.

Busi­nesses al­ready es­tab­lished at Parc Cefni, which lies be­tween Bodf­fordd and Llangefni, in­clude a chil­dren’s nurs­ery, ladies fit­ness suite, sa­lon, gym, an ac­coun­tant, web de­sign­ers, en­gi­neers and a plumber. lo­cal bands, we had fake snow all over the High Street, it re­ally was a win­ter won­der­land.

“The at­mos­phere was bril­liant and foot­fall was con­sis­tent over the whole week­end.”

Mr Davies said in the next cou­ple of years, the Christ­mas event will be the “big­gest and best in North Wales”.

“It was our first at­tempt at pulling a large event off but next year we hope to in­crease it again,” he added.

Speak­ing in 2004, when the hol­i­day por­tion of the de­vel­op­ment first re­ceived plan­ning per­mis­sion, Jones said it would reap “mas­sive ben­e­fits for Anglesey” and could put £500,000 into the lo­cal econ­omy each year.

He said: “This will bring money and em­ploy­ment to Anglesey and will be beneficial to the is­land. I want this place to thrive, and peo­ple to come here and spend a lot of money on Anglesey.

“Then I want them to tell their friends and for them to come as well to see how won­der­ful Anglesey and its peo­ple are.”

The en­trance to Parc Cefni hol­i­day park

John Arthur Jones

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