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You need this licence if you keep horses and hire them out for riding or use them for horse riding lessons.

To apply for a horse riding establishment licence, you will need to:

  • download and complete the application form
  • provide the additional documents listed on the application form
  • pay the application fee of £207 (plus vet fees)

On the application form, you will need to tell us:

  • your name, address and contact details
  • about your business
  • about your establishment
  • about your horses
  • about the management of the establishment
  • your vet's details
  • about your public liability insurance
  • about any disqualifications or convictions

You can pay the application fee by:

  • calling our Business Support team on 01245 606662
  • sending us a cheque (payable to Chelmsford City Council)

The application fee is the first of two fees you will need to pay before we grant your licence. The second is the grant fee. We also need to consult a vet as part of the application process, so you will need to pay the vet fees. The total fee to apply for this licence is £249, plus the vet visit and inspection fees.

Once we receive your application form and fee, we will:

  • acknowledge it within three working days
  • contact you to arrange an inspection

After the inspection, we will tell you our decision, including whether we are going to grant your licence and what your rating is. You will need to pay the vet inspection fee. The inspection fee will depend on the number of horses and the time it takes the vet to complete the inspection.

We will carry out the inspection and tell you our decision within ten weeks of receiving your application.

If we grant your licence, you will need to pay the grant fee of £42.

Again, you can pay this fee by:

  • calling our Business Support team on  01245 606662
  • sending us a cheque (payable to Chelmsford City Council)

You will need to display both your licence and rating on your premises.

You can also view a list of existing licensed premises on our riding establishments register.

Your licence is valid from the date we grant it. When we grant your licence, we will tell you how long it is valid for. This could be between one and three years, depending on the risk rating we give you.

We will write to you three months before your licence expires, to remind you to renew it.

You need to submit your renewal application at least ten weeks before it is due to expire.

To renew your licence, you will need to:

  • contact us
  • pay the renewal application fee of £275 (this is £191 for the renewal and £84 for the vet visit)

You can pay the renewal application fee by:

  • calling our Business Support team on 01245 606662
  • sending us a cheque (payable to Chelmsford City Council)

The application fee is the first of two fees you will need to pay before we renew your licence. The second is the grant fee. We also need to consult a vet as part of the renewal process, so you will need to pay the vet fees. The total fee to renew your licence is £275, plus the vet visit and inspection fees.

When you contact us to renew your licence, we will arrange an inspection.

After the inspection, we will tell you our decision including whether we are going to grant your licence and what your rating is. You will need to pay the vet inspection fee. The inspection fee will depend on the number of horses and the time it takes the vet to complete the inspection.

We will carry out the inspection and tell you our decision within ten weeks of receiving your application. 

If we grant your licence, you will need to pay the grant fee of £42.

If we grant your licence, we will give you a rating based on your standard.

The rating will be between one and five, with five being the best you can receive.

When we give you your rating, we will tell you:

  • why we have given you that rating
  • what you would need to do to receive a higher one when you renew your licence

If you want to achieve a higher rating before your licence renewal, you can take the actions we suggest then request a new rating.

If we gave you five, you can't request a new rating at this is the best you can receive.

To request a new rating, you will need to:

  • contact us in writing
  • pay the £109 fee

You can pay this fee by:

  • calling our Business Support team on 01245 606662
  • sending us a cheque (payable to Chelmsford City Council)

When you contact us to renew your licence, we will arrange an inspection. 

After the inspection, we will tell you our decision about your rating.

We will carry out the inspection and tell you our decision within three months of receiving your request. 

If you receive a new rating, your licence will not change. It will still be valid from the date we granted it, and not from the date you receive your new rating.

If you do not agree with your rating, you can appeal.

To appeal your rating, you will need to contact us in writing within 21 days of us granting your licence.

We will then consider your appeal and make a decision within 21 days of receiving it.

If you disagree with our appeal decision, you can challenge it through a judicial review.

If you operate a horse riding establishment without a licence or don't follow the conditions of your licence, you could receive a:

  • fine
  • prison sentence of up to six months
  • fine and a prison sentence

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Last updated: 29 November 2022