A COUNTY-WIDE plan is being drawn-up to reopen rubbish tips in Dorset “as soon as practicably possible”.

BCP Council is working with Dorset Council on a “coordinated” way to make sure the facilities can be managed safely.

It comes after local government secretary Robert Jenrick said tips should be brought back into use in the coming weeks.

Many councils closed their tips last month following the introduction of guidance against unnecessary travel.

But earlier this week Mr Jenrick said the government would classify trips as “necessary”, paving the way for their reopening.

His comments follow concerns raised by environmental groups about increasing levels of fly-tipping, although BCP Council said rates in its area had fallen compared to last year.

Despite this, Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood said it was “logical” that tips be reopened provided there is enough staffing in place.

“I know we can find a process by appointment, or online, or using a rally point, as we have done for the air show,” he said, suggesting ways the tips could be managed.

“Cars can drive into a waiting area in one of the fields that is used for the park and ride during the air show and then they can have permission to move ten at a time and it can be controlled in that manner.”

BCP Council operates three tips: Wilverley Road in Christchurch, Nuffield in Poole and Millhams in Bournemouth. Dorset Council has ten.

Plans are now being drawn up between for a combined approach to managing tips across both local authority areas.

BCP Council cabinet member for the environment, councillor Felicity Rice, said this would help make sure they could reopen while complying with social distancing guidance for staff and visitors.

“We are liaising with Dorset Council on a combined county-wide approach so that all our HRCs open in a coordinated way,” she said.

“They will only be re-opened when we are positive there is clear government guidance on essential travel. We are looking to re-open sites as soon as practicably possible once this advice changes.

“We also need to ensure we can cope with the increased demand that we anticipate will be placed on these facilities and our staff once they are reopened, and we ask the public to bear this in mind if they are thinking of going to a recycling centre, and to expect queues and perhaps consider delaying their visit to reduce the initial demand.”

Although some areas of the country have seen fly-tipping rise by as much as 300 per cent compared to last year, Cllr Rice said reports to BCP Council had fallen by about a quarter.