Scores of trucks packed sky-high with rubbish left massive piles of rubbish in a quiet North London cul-de-sac in one of the worst cases of fly-tipping ever seen.
New Southgate residents living around Grove Road and Massey Close were left shocked after seeing several vehicles dumping loads of rubbish on to the site of an abandoned care home.
The old Coppice Wood Lodge in Barnet is destined for 45 new homes, but developers will now have to empty the sea of building scraps before they can begin work.
The removal of the rubbish is expected to cost site owners Newlon Housing Trust more than £10,000, according to a local source.
The firm has now called in 24/7 security guards with dogs to stop any more damage.
Residents in nearby flats said they were left furious at the "disgusting" sight outside their windows.
These residents are among a number of locals who claim to have seen men approach the gates to the site with bolt cutters and gain access illegally just before 6pm on Tuesday, April 11.
Several locals say they called the police but were reportedly told they would need video evidence to make any arrests.
A caravan was then reportedly driven on to the site, making it a designated campsite where children stayed overnight, while the rubbish was dumped over four days.
Some residents said they challenged the "cowboys" but received abuse - while others said the dumpers posed as builders to lie about what they were doing.
A tenant living in a nearby block, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I saw them changing license plates and wearing balaclavas. Those guys, honest to God, the rent you pay in this place to live next to that."
Recalling the moment it began, another resident said: "Two guys - about 35 - went up to the gate and snapped it open with bolt cutters. The police were there in five minutes but they could not do anything.
"They said if you don't have a video we can't do anything. They put a caravan in and claimed it as a campsite so the police stayed off their tail.
"There were about 70 trucks a day and that's speaking conservatively. I once saw 20 trucks in two hours. They filled it up quick.
"They filled up the whole space Friday, smashing the windows and taking anything they could. They take rubbish there for a discounted rate."
His account was supported by multiple other residents who also saw two police cars outside the site on Saturday, April 15, once the alleged fly-tippers had left.
The alleged "ringleader" then reportedly returned to collect a Mitsubishi off-roader which had been left behind with police still in the area.
Once the "ringleader" had finally left, the resident went to the site to assess the damage where he found it already overrun with pests.
"It's full of rats. We went in to have a look around and it's just full of flies," he added.
Saeed Jamli, 42, lives in a maisonette overlooking the site and first noticed the dumpsters arriving the middle of the night.
He said: "Now we are thinking about the rubbish and rats and mice. It's not a good view."
Courier Hamed Khaki Sanati, 38, said: "I don't know what is going on, now it's everywhere.
"It's very ugly. It's not summer yet and you can imagine what's going to happen soon, just the rats."
The Metropolitan Police, Newlon Housing Trust and Rooff have been approached for comment.
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