The new development has been built by GreenSquareAccord (GSA) ,one of the largest providers of housing and care in England, and has been named ‘Passingham Place’ in honour of two late Redditch Councillors: Betty and Ron Passingham.
The husband-and-wife duo clocked up more than half a century of service between them as Councillors representing wards in Redditch at both a County and District level.
Mrs Passingham served as the first Labour mayor of Redditch in 1983, when she welcomed the Queen to the borough for the official opening of the town hall. Both Betty and Ron remained active in the community and supported a wide range of local groups until they passed away in 2008 and 2012 respectively .
Ron and Betty’s relatives and Labour Party colleagues were recently given a tour of Passingham Place, reflecting on the visit Sue Yeng, Betty and Ron’s daughter said “ As a family, we are honoured to see that the Trades and Labour Club, were my mum and dad spent many evenings socialising and sat in party meetings, has been converted into affordable housing and named after them.
“Although they never sought the limelight, both my parents would definitely approve of the new use for the Labour Club as they dedicated their lives to the people of Redditch and would be pleased to know that some of those most in need are being given a roof over their heads.”
“Passingham Place will bring a smile to my face every time I walk past as it will for the many others whose lives Betty and Ron touched during their decades of public service and community involvement in Redditch.”
Councillor Bill Harnett who represents Church Hill Ward on Redditch Borough Council said: “Betty and Ron were old friends of mine and spent their time together working for a better Redditch. Their focus was always on our community and improving local people’s quality of life .
“Both Redditch and the local Labour Party were fortunate to have Betty and Ron and their legacy lives on in the town through the many projects they fought for.”
Another of Betty and Ron’s colleagues, Councillor Andy Fry who represents Arrow Valley West division on Worcestershire County Council said: “ Passingham Place is an excellent name for the new affordable housing development on Bromsgrove Road. This ensures that Betty and Ron’s impact on the town they made home will be an important part of Redditch’s future.”
Passingham House is comprised of 30 one-bedroom apartments and 10 two-bedroom flats ideally situated just a short stroll away from Redditch Rail Station and town centre.
Sustainability has been planned into this development with ample cycle storage and 23 communal parking spaces each fitted with electric charging points.
GSA has worked extensively with the local community and engaged Pioneer Cooperative Housing to manage Passingham Place. Pioneer Housing Co-operative’s area roughly covers the Batchley and Central electoral wards of Redditch, an area which Betty Passingham represented, and currently manage 158 properties in Redditch.
A housing cooperative is run for and by its tenant members who are drawn from the local community.
Carl Taylor, Assistant Director of New Business and Growth at GSA said: “I cannot think of a better alternative use for Redditch Trades and Labour Club, an organisation which helped ordinary working people, than providing affordable homes for the current residents of the town. Passingham Place is a fitting tribute to the dedicated public servants who give their names to the building and GSA is proud to have constructed these new, energy-efficient social homes in the centre of Redditch.”
Passingham Place has been built using prefabricated timber panels supplied by LoCaL Homes- an award winning, low carbon manufacturing facility based in Walsall.
Mike Doolan, Sales and Partnership Manager at LoCaL Homes said: “We’re delighted to be a key partner on this project delivering thermally-efficient homes for Redditch residents.
“Incoming residents to this affordable housing scheme will benefit from many of the features of living in a modern, energy-efficient home. The fabric of the homes has been constructed from sustainable, low carbon materials that will reduce overall energy demand resulting in lower heating bills for the occupants.”