On the 1 October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018 No. 486) came into force. These regulations replace a number of pieces of legislation and provide for a new single licensing regime for a number of animal licensing activities. One of these activities is the hiring out of horses. 

The Application Process

To apply for a Licence to Hire Out Horses, applicants must complete and submit an Application Form (pdf, 398 kb).

The Applicant should arrange for an authorised Veterinary Surgeon/practitioner to undertake an inspection of his/her establishment and produce a written report which the Council will then use in the determination of your application.

The veterinary inspection should normally take place shortly after the application has been made. The only exemption to this inspection may be where an authorised veterinary surgeon/practitioner has inspected the horses/premises in the 12 months immediately preceding the date that the application is made.

In determining an application for a Licence to Hire out Horses, the City of Newcastle upon Tyne will have regard to compliance with the Conditions as set out within the Application Form (pdf, 398 kb). Further Guidance (pdf 456 kb) is also available from DEFRA.

There is an application fee payable upon application and subject to an annual renewal. However, should we require the expertise of an animal specialist this may incur further costs at your expense before a Licence is issued.

Risk assessment

Before we can approve an application, we will risk assess your premises, and how the horses or ponies are looked after. To pass this assessment, the applicant must meet the conditions listed in the legislation.

If the applicant meets this conditions, in the Licence a star rating (between one and five stars) will be given. The star rating received determines the length of time the Licence is for (between one and three years). 

Current Licence Fees

Planning requirements

Your application for a licence will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity. You should contact the Planning Authority via planning.control@newcastle.gov.uk or phone 0191 2115654 to discuss whether permission will be needed. Your application for a licence will not be processed until the planning issue has been resolved.

What conditions will be attached to a licence?

Conditions typically applied to a Licence to Hire out Horses are as set out within the application form. Further Guidance (pdf 463 kb) from DEFRA is also available.


Where a person is convicted of an animal related offence they may not apply for a Licence. Go to Schedule 8 of the Regulations for more details.

If you are unhappy with our decision

If the applicant doesent agree with the decision, they can appeal. 

If you do not agree with your star rating

If the applicant does not agree with the star rating provided, contact us to appeal this.

Request a re-score

If an applicant gets less than five stars, we will let you know what you can do to increase your star rating. An increased star rating could increase the length of time that the Licence is for. 

If the applicant completes these actions, we can return to the premises to repeat the risk assessment. This costs £100. Contact us to arrange.

If the application is rejected

If we do not issue a Licence, and the applicant wishes to appeal this decision, contact the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) to launch an appeal. 

Rights of entry

Authorised officers of the Council and/or authorised Veterinary Surgeons/practitioners may enter and inspect a riding establishment premises at any reasonable time.

How long will it take to process my application?

Upon receipt of your application, an authorised Veterinary Surgeon/practitioner will be contacted and advised of the application. Contact to arrange the inspection will then be made.

The Council will endeavour to issue a licence within a period of 28 days, however if we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted due to animal welfare implications.


If you want to make a complaint about any riding establishment, please contact us.

If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please telephone the Trading Standards service. The Trading Standards service will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have.

The Council also has a formal complaints procedure.

Disclosure Barring Service requirements

An enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check is required every year for each employee or volunteer.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it using the contact details below.

Disease control

For the latest information on the risks presented by animal diseases and specifically Equine Infectious Anaemia and also Contagious Equine Metritis, view the Equine Infectious Anaemia and Contagious Equine Metritis information on the Defra website.

Useful links

Current licences

1. Kenton Riding School, Kenton Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 3EB
2. Black Row Farm, Drove Road, Throckley, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 9QT
3. Stepney Bank Stables, Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2NP

Trade associations

Copies of the legislation mentioned on this page can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office or can be accessed at OPSI.

Please note: This information has no legal force and is not an authoritative interpretation of the law, which is a matter for the Courts. It is intended to help businesses to understand in general terms, the main features of the legislation. The information is not a substitute for the legislation and you should refer to the text of the legislation for a full statement of legal requirements and obligations. Where appropriate, you should seek your own independent legal advice.

Contact details

For further information, please contact: Trading Standards Service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. Email: tradingstandards@newcastle.gov.uk or by phone: 0191 2116121

Page last updated: 
11 April 2019
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