News that Wetherspoon has called time on its plan to open a pub in Alnwick will be met with despair from many people – but it may not be last orders just yet.
The fact that Northumberland County Council wants to meet Wetherspoon – who seem happy to oblige – to thrash out the stumbling blocks should give hope to supporters of the scheme that the glass is still very much half full.
It is frustrating that it has come to this though and the issue is fast becoming – if it is not already – a long, drawn-out saga. After all, the company registered its application in August 2013, before permission was granted in 2014.
There is a very real danger that this will all be for nothing.
There are opponents to the plans, including those who fear it would harm Alnwick.
But, support for the scheme is overwhelming and those in favour would see it as a major blow if the plans fell through.
Many will be hoping that, in the end, they will still be able to toast the arrival of Wetherspoon.