So, although NCC report that:
"Morrison’s have now re-submitted the application and the formal 28 day consultation period will commence form today and finish on the 9th December 2010" - the parallel applications elsewhere in the county have not been delayed, and the NCC Licensing Committee will be hard pushed to come up with reasons why Morpeth Morrison's should be treated differently.
The only grounds for objecting to licensing applications are:
I think that my argument that this subverts the PubWatch network and that supermarket cashiers are not trained to deal with 'people under the influence' in the way that bar staff are - should hold up, but concerns about light pollution and boy racers in well-lit carparks would be stronger if it were a variation on a planning permission rather than a license.
And that is where Morrison's are manipulating the system - as well as the sheer weight of a national move, they are using the narrower licensing regulations to pre-empt a variation in planning permission, to move towards 24-hour opening.
And they are not the only ones: word has reached me that M&S in Sandersons Arcade have applied for a 24-hour alcohol sales license, and an acohol license for their restaurant - also a move towards 24-hour opening.