THE work put in by an “amazing” Rhyl councillor to bringing back an area of land into community use prior to his death has been praised after his aim was achieved.

Land at Ffordd Elan, on Rhyl's Park View estate, has been brought back into community use, after the its sale from developers to Denbighshire County Council was completed.

Cllr Brian Blakeley, who died aged 82 in October 2022 and who represented the town’s Tynewydd ward, was hailed by many as a “driving force” behind the purchase of the land.


Battle to bring Rhyl land back into community use is finally won

Tributes paid to devoted and popular Rhyl councillor and 'family man'

The area was used by residents as open space and was designated for community use in the Unitary Development Plan, but was fenced off in 2007 before a legal disagreement ensued.

In 2021, the developer, Anwyl Group, began having discussions with Denbighshire County Council, and eventually reached an agreement to sell the land to the local authority.

Michelle Blakeley-Walker, Cllr Blakeley’s daughter and a representative of the Rhyl Trellewelyn ward, paid tribute to her father’s efforts following this news.

Cllr Blakeley-Walker said: “My wonderful father worked incredibly hard on this initiative over the years, and I am delighted to hear that the land will now be developed for the local community.

“I know that my dad would be so pleased for all the residents of the Park View estate after many years of campaigning.

“My dad, alongside past and present councillors, MPs, MSs, and a large number of the Park View residents, first began seeking a resolution to this matter over a decade ago, dating back to the days of the Park View Residents’ Association.

“He was an incredible dad and husband and cared for his community. He is forever missed, and was an inspiration to me and all of those he was able to help.”

Cllr Blakeley's wife, Evelyn, commended her "loving" late husband's "tireless work" on this scheme.

She said: "My husband fought tirelessly since 2007 to regain this land back to his residents; it was his legacy that he left."

Cllr Cheryl Williams, of the Rhyl Tynewydd ward, added: “Brian Blakeley was the amazing driving force behind the Park View field purchase. 

“Brian Blakeley fought for the field to not be built on, along with the Park View Residents’ Association. They were, along with the late councillor Glyn Pickering, very successful with this.

“There will never be anyone to take his place, with all that he achieved for the ward.  I too love the ward and the residents, and will continue to carry on the work ethic we had. 

“He wasn’t just a mentor to me as a councillor; he was my best friend. He is much missed by all that knew him and I will never forget him. I’m a better person for having known him.”

Phil Worley, who has lived on the Park View estate for more than 20 years, was chairman of the Park View Residents’ Association.

Meetings were held in the Tŷ Elan Surgery, with politicians and councillors invited on a regular basis.

He said: “We were informed that the builder/ land owner had applied for permission to erect a rehabilitation facility; this was defeated.

“Other projects mentioned were houses, a public house and even a community facility.

“Every year, Cllr Blakeley battled to get the builders to keep the grass trimmed down. After the passage of time the association was disbanded, but I was well aware that the local councillors were still fighting our corner.

“I was kept informed by Cllr Blakeley. As a non-political resident, we were quite surprised, as he became a friend of our family.”

Cllr Ellie Chard (Rhyl South ward) was a Rhyl town councillor on the Tynewydd ward from September 2011 until May 2017, recalled how Cllr Blakeley was “totally involved” in the efforts to restore the land to the community.

She added: “I remember our late county councillors, Brian Blakeley and Glyn Pickering, telling me in early 2011 that they had saved building taking place on the site and it was for community use.

“Even during COVID, he attended virtual and hybrid meetings with Anwyl.”