London Fire Brigade estimates it has spent close to £1 million tackling fires at the Waste4Fuel dump in St Paul’s Cray, as residents continue to live beneath its looming shadow.

New figures obtained by News Shopper show it has cost LFB around £914,000 to deal with 233 incidents at the 40-foot high rubbish mountain since 2012.

Firefighters have already been called to the site 78 times this year - around 360 working hours at a cost of £104,000 in time and resources.

Despite numerous inquiries, legal arguments, court hearings and countless promises to clear the illegal mound over the last four years, nothing has been done.

In March, the Environment Agency announced it had agreed a plan with Bromley Council with a view to begin clearing the site this summer.

But as September draws closer, the huge pile of steaming filth remains untouched.

Patricia Smith, of Bostall Road, who has lived in the area for around 30 years, told News Shopper the situation was "beyond a joke".

The 67-year-old said: "We are four years down the line, we are still getting fires.

"We are worried we are going to have real long-term health problems.

News Shopper:

News Shopper's latest pictures of the Waste4Fuel site taken today (August 25), show the untouched mountain of waste casting a shadow of people's homes

"The Environment Agency should have fought harder.

"We are left picking up the pieces."

Ms Smith said many of her former neighbours have moved away from the site, selling their houses at a fraction of their worth.

She added: "When my relatives came to visit from Australia, I said, 'Welcome to St Paul’s Cray and this huge heap of filth'.

"They couldn’t believe it.

"There is no way on earth this should have taken four years to resolve."

Grandmother Jan Watkins, 60, lives in nearby Sevenoaks Way with 65-year-old husband John.

She said: "I was very sceptical when they said that they were going to clear it this summer.

"I personally didn’t think it would happen.

"The money spent on putting out fires would have been better spent towards the cost of clearing it."

News Shopper:

Left to right: Jan Watkins, John Wohlman with his son Tyler, Patricia Smith and Maxine O'Connor holding a meeting after a fire at the site in April 2013

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: "We understand and share the frustration of local residents and are using all our powers to deal with the problems created by Waste4Fuel.

"Those responsible for depositing the waste or profiting from it are being actively pursued through joint Environment Agency and police operations.

"All available powers will be used to bring them to justice and ensure costs are repaid."

Waste4Fuel could not be contacted for comment.

News Shopper's editor Andy Parkes

New Shopper editor Andy Parkes said: "This disgusting, disgraceful site has become a carbuncle sitting on top of anything bad about this otherwise-great borough.

"That this festering, stinking filth is still in place years after all the broken promises and false claims is something we should all be ashamed of.

"Our poor residents have to face the filthy stench from this rotting mound every single day of their lives.

"Instead of wasting £1million putting out needless fires the money would have been better served removing this foul waste once and for all.

"The time for talking is over, action must be taken, and it must be taken now."