Waste4Fuel and the Environment Agency will clash in the High Court after the recycling company put forward an application to increase the amount of waste being brought into the notorious site.

Waste4Fuel, which wants to bring 200 tonnes of waste into the St Paul's Cray centre per week (the previous limit was 75 tonnes), made the application last Tuesday (March 18).

The judge postponed a decision until this Friday with Waste4Fuel also facing committal proceedings brought by the EA.

The EA is concerned Waste4Fuel will not adhere to a High Court order, acquired in November last year, requiring it to remove all combustible waste from the Cornwall Drive site by May 1.

Waste team leader at the Environment Agency, Jon Griffin, said: "We will attend another hearing at the end of this week because the Environment Agency is concerned Waste4Fuel will not have all waste removed by May 1.

"We have made regular site visits and inspections to monitor compliance with the High Court Order and have decided to return to the High Court because progress on the volume of waste and fire breaks is disappointing.

"The chances of them complying by May 1 are slim to none and they need to be held to account for not doing what they have been asked to do."

He added: "I completely understand the frustration of local residents. That pile keeps getting bigger and bigger.

"I want to assure them we are doing all we can to resolve the issues at the site.

"In terms of achieving what we are trying to achieve, we have gone the only way we can, through the High Court.

"The Environment Agency is doing everything we can, everything within our power and within the law, to bring Waste4Fuel back into compliance."

Residents have been driven to exasperation by the site, with increasing concern over the health implications of the fumes, which have caused members of the public to be physically sick.

Meanwhile, last month Waste4Fuel had to pay £8,960 after it was prosecuted by London Fire Brigade for stacking flammable materials 12 times in excess of the size legally allowed.

Fire services have been called out to the centre 12 times in the past year.