Plans for a controversial rubbish tip just off the High Street in West Drayton have been "effectively scuppered" by Network Rail.
The site at the Old Coal Yard, off Tavistock Road, was controversially approved at a Hillingdon Council meeting in May, but at the time opposing Labour councilors branded the decision "deplorable".
Hillingdon Council and Powerday, its partner on the site, announced on Monday (October 22) that their plans were "effectively scuppered" by Network Rail, which said it wants to use the site for its own freight activities.
The site currently operates as a weekend-only waste centre on selected dates, but until August 2017, it had been used by Powerday Plc as a skip and waste container transport site 24 hours-a-day.
The operation stopped when local residents won a seven-year legal battle to end night-time work at the site, after an inspector found they caused "significant harm to neighbours’ living conditions."
However, Powerday and the council teamed up over the proposal to turn the site, owned by Network Rail, into a waste facility seven days a week.
Powerday has now been told by Network Rail that it wants to "use the wider site for freight activities, including additional freight train movements via the Colnbrook Loop".
It is not yet known if the decision by Network Rail will affect the current weekend waste collections.
While controversial, many residents welcomed the site as an alternative to the Harefield waste facility in the north of the borough.
Councillor Keith Burrows, cabinet member for planning, transport and recycling, said: “This is an incredibly disappointing and frustrating decision by Network Rail, to say nothing of the poor timing.
“Residents and businesses have long been calling for a waste and recycling site in the south of the borough, and the Tavistock Road site was the ideal solution.
“Despite planning approval, Network Rail has come up with a number of objections and obstacles to our plans.
"We are seeking one last meeting with them to see if there is any practical way in which a slightly scaled down civic amenity operation might be accommodated with additional freight and train uses of the site.
“After doing everything necessary to get this site up and running as quickly as possible, it will be very disappointing if a new facility doesn’t materialise here, and it will undoubtedly come as quite a blow for residents.
"However, we remain one of the few local authorities to offer free weekly waste and recycling collections and a free bulky waste collection service, and we will be exploring other options for improving our services even further.”