BOURNEMOUTH Council is cracking down on the 'legalised' fly tips which have sprung up in the borough.

Yesterday residents in the Stourvale Road area of Pokesdown found a heap of household goods, including old sofas, a fridge and other white goods, which had been infesting an alley for nearly six months, being cleared.

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Homeowner Tony Norris said: "I phoned the council about it a while back and they did come and look and said they couldn't do anything as it was on private land."

However, following action from the Pokesdown Community Forum, a local councillor, and the council, Mr Norris believes the land's owner was ordered to clear it. "I'm really pleased but can't believe we've had to go so far round the houses to get this," he said.

Meanwhile, in Vale Road, industrial refuse bins which had caused a 'mini-tip' and 'rat problem' alongside the home of Peter and Sandra Walker for several weeks, were being cleared too.

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"The lids were blowing open and there were soiled nappies and rubbish blown out and we have noticed rats in the area, even running along our fence," said Mr Walker, who praised the Environmental Health office's eventual response to his pleas.

And homeowners in Haviland Road were delighted when refuse collectors took away a stinking pile of rubbish dumped with bins near the entrance to their road.

Bournemouth council vowed to probe fly-tipping on its own land and that which is privately owned, despite not being legally responsible for this.

“Flytipping is a difficult issue to investigate and resolve and we encourage landowners to take all available measures to protect their property," said Sophie Ricketts, the council's Targeted Enforcement Manager .

"If evidence is provided of a possible perpetrator, the council will investigate and consider action but this is often not available and regrettably it would fall to the owner to clear any items or waste.

"We would encourage owners to seek their own civil action against any identified perpetrators which may result in recovering monies spent on clearing the site."

She pledged that sites which attract rats and other pests can be investigated by the council and, where a source of food or warmth exists, enforcement action would be considered on owners of the land or property.

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Ms Ricketts said action regarding the giant pile of rubbish in an alley of Haviland Road was 'in hand' and said the council had a dedicated place for residents to report tipping issues: