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A Northern Irish council is reconsidering its plans to ban horse riders from its beaches.

At a meeting of Coleraine Borough Council on Tuesday, 30 April, it was agreed that the council will consider management arrangements for horse riding — rather than banning horses from beaches.

Currently riders are allowed on Coleraine beaches at all times in the winter, but are banned between 11am-7pm May to September.

The council was considering enforcing a ban for health and safety reasons after it received several formal complaints.

A spokesman for Coleraine Borough Council said: “At a full council meeting, members amended the committee’s recommendation to change the word ‘ban’ to ‘consider future management arrangements’, with regards to horses on council beaches within the borough.”

The council also confirmed that they had agreed to enter into a period of consultation — but did not specify how long this would be for.

Last month BHS Ireland said it was “horrified” to learn of the restrictions, but the organisation is now “very pleased” with the outcome of the meeting.

BHS Ireland’s Heather Hoffman said: “We were quite concerned we were going to lose what little access we have to off-road horse riding in the Coleraine area, which may have had a knock-on effect in other parts of the country.

“Having spoken with Kieran Doherty, of the environmental department at Coleraine Borough Council, we gather this consultation period will take place over the summer months and be completed in the autumn, when it will be taken to council again for a decision.”

For more information visit: www.bhsireland.com