Action will be taken to remove homeless people from a site described as a 'shanty town', it has been confirmed.

The site underneath a railway bridge in Wadham Road, Highams Park, is currently home to two middle-aged men who have fallen on hard times during the economic downturn.

The council has confirmed it owns the land and environmental health officers on Friday visited the site, which is regularly used by drug users and covered in rubbish, human faeces and graffiti.

A 48-year-old man, who would only give his name as Robert, has been living at the site for four months after leaving a nearby travellers site.

He has been travelling between the UK from Poland since 1998 and worked for many years as a chef in Stratford until the restaurant closed in 2013 and he fell on hard times.

Robert also admitted to turning to alcohol following the break-up of his marriage.

He said: "I want to work. I don’t want benefits. I used to earn £80 a day, now it is £20 a day."

Environmental officers are expected to remove the men and clear the rubbish by Sunday.

For more on this story see Thursday's Chingford and Waltham Forest Guardians