Bromley borough council is seeking a county court injunction to stop waste being stored by Kent RDF firm Waste4Fuel beyond the boundary of its Orpington waste transfer site.
The council claims waste is being dumped illegally at more than a metre in height on Green Belt land around the Cornwall Drive site without planning permission. It is concerned that “continued harmful expansion could take place”.
According to a report to council’s planning sub-committee recently, aerial photographs suggest the southern boundary of the Cornwall Drive site has been breached and the “tipping of waste and associated activities are now occurring approximately 20 metres beyond the area identified within the certificates of lawfulness”.
But the new operators of Waste4Fuel said the material is not waste but soil and fines, which is being used to make the ‘waterlogged’ area more accessible to comply with demands from the London Fire Brigade (LFB).
The company currently faces fines and costs totalling almost £9,000 after a prosecution in February brought by the LFB, which was called to fires at the Orpington site 12 times in a year.
Waste4Fuel has been under new ownership since February 1 2014 and the company said it had no intention of expanding its boundary but was merely working to improve fire safety and remove waste left at the site by the previous owners.
“When we took over the south side of the site it was a field where a lot of the fires had taken place. The actual ground was a complete bog because of fire officers tackling fires there, and the fire brigade asked us to clear that, said a spokesman for the company. “It is not waste. It is topsoil to soak up all the water.”
He said fire services had now not been called to the site since February 24 which was saving taxpayers’ money and the LFB was pleased with the company’s progress.
“We will work with the council and as I said it is temporary,” added the spokesman. “We are confident we will be back inside the boundaries within six weeks.”
However, if the council’s injunction application is successful, councillors said action would be taken to remove the waste and restore the land to its original appearance as they would “not tolerate dumping”.
The report states: “The current operators of the waste transfer station have suggested verbally that this expansion was due to requirements from other statutory bodies, however any operational requirement for this expansion has been created by the behaviour of the site operator in bringing excessive amounts of waste on to the site”.