A PETROL station has been granted a 24-hour licence to sell alcohol.

Stonebridge Service Station at Neville’s Cross Bank, Durham, already has a licence for late night refreshment and overnight sales.

In January, owners applied to Durham County Council for permission to sell alcohol around the clock.

During consultation, Durham police asked for conditions around alcohol sales including staff training, a refusals register and sales through a ‘night pay window’ between 11pm and 6am.

Despite this, an objection from Brandon and Byshottles Parish Council sparked a licensing hearing, held at County Hall on Tuesday.

Parish council chairman, Coun David Clegg, raised safety fears about people crossing the busy A690, alcohol-related disorder and nuisance for neighbours.

Speaking at the council’s Statutory Licensing Sub-committee on Tuesday, he said: “There is no safe pedestrian access or egress by public footpath into this petrol station. Anybody who would wish to walk there would have to cross over two live lanes of traffic and a bus lane to get access to this. That is a serious safety concern that Brandon and Byshottles do have and that’s a real fact.”

Councillors heard CCTV would cover key areas in the petrol station, including the forecourt, and that applicant Malthurst Ltd had merged with Motor Fuel Group to run more than 500 24-hour sites in England and Wales.

Malhurst's solicitor, Robert Botkai, said pedestrian safety issues would apply regardless of the alcohol licence bid and said there were no known issues around crime and disorder at the Stonebridge site.

He said: “If any problems that arise with the granting of the licence and particularly the late night, we would have to take steps to address those.“If we don’t address those steps then the Licensing Act has the power of review which can be based on evidence.

“If there are problems, speak to us and if we don’t deal with it we could be inspected and be back before a committee for review.”

Committee members agreed to grant the licence and chairman Cllr Colin Carr, proposed extra conditions including CCTV above the serving hatch to identify customers in the interest of staff safety.