A CONTROVERSIAL decision to ban horses from Frinton beach has seen a dramatic U-turn from Tendring Council following backlash.

The animals had been banned from the beach between Good Friday and September 30.

But now council bosses have been left scratching their heads after admitting the decision was made without the knowledge or consent of the cabinet.

It also follows a petition launched calling for the decision to be reversed received more than 4,700 signatures in two weeks.

Council leader Neil Stock has now apologised for the decision which left horseriders upset.

He said: “This decision has been made by officers without the knowledge or consent of the Cabinet at Tendring District Council. This was wrong and for that I can only apologise.

“I can confirm there is no ban in force preventing horses using the district’s beaches, including the one at Frinton.

“Although, I am pleased the local equestrian community are now developing their own code of practice, in consultation with the council, which will minimise the risk to public safety and ensure compliance with local byelaws.

“The council is proud that whilst access to beaches for horses is relatively rare in this country, riders have been always been able to use the Essex sunshine coast.

“By working with the riding community on a code of conduct to preserve public safety, we are confident that we will be in a position to preserve this long into the future.

“Furthermore, I have requested the Chief Executive to ensure a full and thorough investigation be undertaken to find out the events surrounding this decision and ensure it does not happen again.”

More reaction as we get it.