North Norfolk horse centre could reopen
PUBLISHED: 12:16 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:23 19 February 2020
Thye Aun Ngo
A riding centre that was fined last year for hiring out horses without a licence is hoping to reopen.
A planning application has been sent to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to re-open the Lakeside Riding Centre on Mill Farm in Tunstead.
Catherine Mace-Nelson, who owns the centre, applied for a licence for her premises in 2018, but was refused as the location lacked the required facilities. NNDC took her to court after it discovered the business was still operating.
She pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Friday, February 21 to being paid on July 12, 2018 for hiring out horses without a licence, in contravention of the Riding Establishments Act 1964. She was fined £250, and told to pay £750 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
She then reeapared in Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court on April 9, 2019 for the non-payment of the £1030 fine, where she was given further time to pay.
It was also ordered that she was detained in the courthouse, but the detention was deemed as served as she already spent less than a day in custody.
Since the court appearance Miss Mace-Nelson has acquired a new licence and is now applying to re-open the riding centre. She said: "I have run my business for 12 years before moving to Norfolk. I had a licence at a previous location but the new location did not have the correct facilities.
"We worked with the council to try and sort out the issues as it was a big misunderstanding. We were disappointed that it had to go to court to be resolved. Now we have the correct facilities and I want to give people who might not have otherwise had the chance to ride."
SHe said the aim was to provide people from different backgrounds the opportunity to spend time with horses and ponies in a quiet countryside environment and ride out in the countryside.
Miss Mace-Nelson said: "Exposure to horses, their behaviour towards one another and people and horse riding has been proven to have many health benefits, not only the physical fitness improvements but also towards mental health.
"Being around horses and stroking them can reduce stress levels and increase a sense of wellbeing. A calm and peaceful environment helps to decrease anxiety."
She said the location, two-and-a-half miles from the centre of Tunstead and between the Broads National Park and the north Norfolk coast, was "ideal to support the existing tourism" and she hoped to "offer a new small bespoke service for visitors as well as locals".
The site has previously been a spiritual healing centre and a scientific consultancy.