Tesco will today (Wednesday) make its third bid for an alcohol licence in Castletown.
The licensing court will hear the application for a Tesco Express at a unit in Callow’s Yard, to include an off licence, and two days have been set aside.
The retailer has gone to the court twice in the past – in April and October 2012 – but was refused on both occasions.
The court previously decided that due to the number of licensed premises – on and off licensed – already in the town compared with the number of residents, it was not satisfied there was a need for another outlet selling alcohol.
Refusing the application Deputy High Bailiff Jayne Hughes, had said she was ‘shocked’ by the ratio of alcohol licences in Castletown to residents.
At a sitting of the licensing court in July, advocate John Wright, representing Tesco, said he intended to produce evidence from UK market research company MORI to show there was the demand.
A number of objections to Tesco’s latest application were lodged with the court.
Interested party status was granted to a number of individuals, bodies and organisations including Castletown MHK Richard Ronan, Rushen MHK Phil Gawne, Onchan MHK Peter Karran (LibVan), the Chamber of Commerce, and Isle of Man Enterprises, of which Shoprite is a subsidiary.
Ayre MHK and Treasury Minister Eddie Teare was not granted interested party status. Although he had lodged a letter of objection, it made no reference to alcohol issues.
Mr Wright objected to the Chamber of Commerce being given interested party status because its letter made no specific reference to representing businesses in Castletown.
But committee member Andrew Corrie had told the court it represented the Castletown Chamber of Commerce and the town’s traders.
A site visit for the interested parties and the licensing court was to have taken place in the summer.
Interested parties have had to decide whether their letters to the court form their evidence, or whether they want to give evidence and make submissions at the hearing.
The police had until September 20 to file their response to the court.
Castletown Commissioners has shifted its stance from previous applications and has said that it will remain neutral.
When the plan for a store in Castletown was first suggested, it was due to open in February 2012 but the application has stalled because of the licensing issue.
Castletown, which is home to just over 3,000 people, already has a Co-op and a Shoprite store.
The hearing starts at Douglas courthouse at 10am.