A BID to allow Ross-on-Wye petrol station to serve alcohol and hot food and drinks until midnight has been held up after a sharp exchange between the operator’s agents and council officials.

The petrol station on Station Street was licensed a year ago, subject to a number of conditions, as part of the neighbouring Morrison’s supermarket.

It’s now managed by Motor Fuel Limited which applied to Herefordshire Council to take over the licence of the station, one of 330 at Morrison’s stores it is absorbing into its 1,100-strong nationwide estate.

Herefordshire Council asked the company to agree to a standard set of operating conditions under the licence, described as “a reasonable requirement and not onerous”.

These cover staff training in “responsible alcohol retailing”, adopting a policy to prevent sale of alcohol to under-18s, and keeping records of both of these.

The operator’s agents, law firm Winckworth Sherwood, said a local authority “should not be imposing ‘the same model conditions’ to all premises even those operating similar styles of business”.

The law firm “has been instructed to keep conditions as consistent as possible across the estate”, and told the trading standards officer: “You do not impose conditions on licences.”

With the issue having reached apparent deadlock, the job of deciding the licensing application has been passed to a councillors on the county’s licensing sub-committee.