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Stonebridge residents accuse housing association of trying to change the name of their estate

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 June 2013

Residents in Stonebridge fear they are being

Residents in Stonebridge fear they are being "re-branded"

Copyright: Mr. Jan Nevill

Hillside Housing Trust has come under fire for allegedly phasing out the S-word

A housing association has been accused of “sneakily trying to change the name” of an estate, causing residents to fear their identity is under threat.

Hillside Housing Trust, a subsidiary of the Hyde Group, which manages properties on the Stonebridge Park Estate, has come under fire for allegedly phasing out the name Stonebridge in a bid to rebrand the area.

But disgruntled residents have slammed the plans, claiming Hillside have shown “arrogance toward residents.”

The fears come after a variety of letters sent to residents refer to them as “Hillside residents” on the “Hillside estate” rather than Stonebridge.

One letter, seen by the Times, sent by the head of housing at the Hyde Group, says they are “committed to providing the best possible service to the residents of Hillside.”

Furthermore a regular news leaflet formerly called “Stonebridge Community News” has been rebranded the “Hillside Community Newsletter.”

Clement Bedeau, of Wood Rood, who has lived in Stonebridge for more than 30 years, said: “It’s arrogance from Hyde to think they can do this without telling people. We are Stonebridge residents and that is what we want to be known as.”

Mr Bedeau organised a public meeting last week in response to the fears and it was attended by around 90 residents.

The once-notorious estate, which had a fearsome reputation for more than 20 years, has undergone a major transformation but residents have claimed they are proud of their community and fear losing their identity.

The properties are split between the council and Hillside Housing Trust who were chosen to help with the regeneration.

Mr Bedeau added: “It is ironic given that they were chosen by us to help with the regeneration and they then decide to rebrand it as something totally different.

Mick Mcdonald, chairman of the Stonebridge Brent Council Tenants Association, told the Times he thought it was for financial reasons.

He said: “There are properties which have been granted planning consent that will be private. If buyers do any research they are not going to want to buy a house advertised as being on the Stonebridge estate.

“But we are the residents and it should be down to us.”

However, a spokesman for Hyde Housing denied any name change was imminent.

He said: “We can confirm that The Hyde Group has not given Stonebridge estate a new name. Stonebridge estate remains Stonebridge estate.

“Residents will receive a letter this week which confirms that rumours are untrue that either Hyde or Brent Council are using the Hyde Hillside name to change the name of the Stonebridge estate.”

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