Riding Establishment Licence Application

Please read information below before completing the application.


The fee is £514.50 and is payable in advance.  (Please note, Vet fees will also be chargeable).

What does the law require?

You need a licence from the local authority to keep a riding establishment.

What do I need to consider?

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

(i) Keeping a riding establishment 
(ii) Keeping an animal boarding establishment  

(iii) Keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
(iv) Keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
(v) Owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

(vi) Owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. In Scotland an applicant must also not be disqualified from working with, using, driving or riding animals, providing services to animals that would involve taking possession of them, taking possession of an animal to carry out any of the activities listed or taking charge of animals for any other purpose.

When making our decision we will have regard to whether you appear to be suitable and qualified, either by experience in the management of horses or by being the holder of an approved certificate or by employing in the management of the riding establishment a person so qualified.

We will also need to satisfy ourselves that you will give paramount consideration to the health and welfare of the horses. You will be required to have suitable accommodation as respects construction, size, number of occupants, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness. There must be adequate pasture and shelter and water and supplementary feeds will be provided as and when required. Horses will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and (except in the case of horses maintained at grass, so long as they are so maintained) bedding material, and will be adequately exercised, groomed and rested and visited at suitable intervals.

All reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread among horses of infectious or contagious diseases and that veterinary first aid equipment and medicines shall be provided and maintained in the premises. Appropriate steps will be taken for the protection and extrication of horses in case of fire.

How will you deal with my application?

We will need to arrange for an inspection of your proposed site by a veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner to ensure that you and your facility meet the eligibility criteria described above.

If your application is deemed non-contentious, we should be able to grant your licence without referring the decision to the Licensing Committee. 'Non-contentious' means any application which has not resulted in any objections or representations of a serious
nature, and where is no conflict with council policy. Contentious applications will be determined by the Licensing Board.

We will attach conditions to any licence we grant or renew and we may take action to ensure that you comply with those conditions.

When will a decision be made?

We aim to make a decision on your application within 90 calendar days of you submitting to us all the documentation we require. This assumes that your application is not contentious. Your application will take longer to process if it becomes contentious (for example, if we receive objections or representations) and if that is the case we will keep you informed of the revised timescale.

What happens if you don't make a decision within the target time?

'Tacit authorisation' does not apply because there is an overriding reason relating to the public interest, namely the need to protect the health of animals. Therefore if you have still not received a decision after the target time has expired, your authorisation is not granted
automatically. In such a situation, we will get in touch with you to let you know what happens next.

Please note that you must not carry on the activity for which you have applied for a licence unless or until you have been granted a licence.

What can I do if I'm not satisfied?

If you are unhappy with the way we have processed your application please contact us at the address above.

How does the Council handle objections and representations?

Find out more about objections and representations