Businesses have been warned they could be prosecuted over a site which residents say has become infested with rats due to dumped rubbish.

People have recently complained about an infestation behind a row of shops in Hillcrest Road, South Woodford, which has been left exposed after a lorry knocked a wall down 20 years ago.

Redbridge council said it cannot build a new wall on private land, but warned businesses to dispose of rubbish responsibly.

A spokeswoman said: “We have sent a streetscene enforcement officer to the area to look at this and the area has already been tidied up. Businesses are required to keep their waste contained to avoid encouraging pests and we will monitor this to ensure this continues to happen.

“The council has the power to ensure businesses are meeting their responsibility and can prosecute where necessary. In most cases we try to work with businesses to keep their properties and surrounding areas tidy.

“If residents are concerned about fly tipping, they are encouraged to report it online at or report it to the Customer Contact Centre on 0208 708 5000. As it is private land, the landowner would be responsible for building or repairing a wall.”