Shop in Morpeth Bus Station receives license to sell alcohol despite anti-social behaviour concerns

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The Martin’s shop in Morpeth Bus Station will be able to sell alcohol despite concerns about a potential increase in anti-social behaviour.

A premises licence application has been granted by Northumberland County Council’s licensing sub committee following a hearing last Thursday (November 9) at County Hall.

Members of the sub committee said, in the decision document, that they believe their additional conditions should prevent any potential issues arising at the shop – which will be changed to operate as a ‘Morrisons Daily’.

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Although the sale of alcohol would be for consumption off the premises, Morpeth Town Council and Sanderson Arcade responded to the application by saying there are strong reasons for the bid to be turned down.

Morpeth Bus Station. Picture from Google.Morpeth Bus Station. Picture from Google.
Morpeth Bus Station. Picture from Google.

Susan Hedley, who has been using Morpeth Bus Station for more than 50 years, also objected and her submission included the following: “The fact that there is seating at all of the stands will be a temptation for people to sit and drink (alcohol) there and there will be no-one available in the evening to prevent them, so any licence granted to the premises will effectively operate as a licence for people to sit and drink in the whole bus station.”

The licence applies to 7am to 9pm each day. These hours have been reduced by the applicant from the original application.

As well as standard conditions, additional conditions imposed by the committee include installing and maintaining a CCTV system, keeping a refusals and incident register at the premises, all alcohol being kept behind the sales counter of the premises and training for all staff in relation to the proof of age ‘Challenge 25’ scheme to be applied on the premises.

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The decision document states: “The sub committee has taken into account that the operator is a very experienced, national operator with licensing training and schemes in place.

“The sub committee has considered the concerns raised by the interested parties, but there is no evidence before the sub committee that the premises will undermine the licensing objectives. The sub committee feels that the imposition of the additional conditions should prevent any potential issues arising from the premises.”

There is a right of appeal to the Magistrates' Court against the decision, which must be lodged within 21 days of the date of the written notification of the decision.