Havering Council is investigating its legal options in tackling the ongoing fire issues at Launders Lane.

The repeated outbreaks at the Arnolds Field site have caused growing local anger, with hundreds of people gathering at La Salette Catholic Social Club in July to vent their frustration at the persistent problem.

This summer the council formed a working group with the Environment Agency, London Fire Brigade and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas to work out what can be done.

At a council scrutiny meeting on October 4, director of policy, strategy and transformation Sandy Hamburger said the local authority has now asked an external senior barrister to outline what the “legal options” are.

She explained: “One is if we can get access, two is [which agency] has most powers, three is could we compulsory purchase the land and, if so, what would be the implications for trying to rectify the land?

“Any of those could be timely and costly.”

The Environment Agency has said it has no legal power to take action against the current owner because Arnolds Field is not an “active waste site”.

The agency added that any pollution should be reported to its 24-hour hotline on 0800 807060.