Morrisons is set to learn whether it can sell alcohol 24 hours a day from its Penrith store and filling station.

The supermarket giant applied to Eden Council to vary its premises licences for the two businesses on Brunswick Road so that it would be able to sell alcohol at any time, day or night. Currently it can sell alcohol from 6am to midnight.

It also wants to be able to offer 'late night refreshments' – items sold above ambient temperature – from 11pm to 5am.

Morrisons agreed to provide a security guard and block access to car park spaces immediately behind houses on Elm Terrace if alcohol was being sold between midnight and 6am after public nuisance concerns from the council's senior environmental health officer about the supermarket application.

The officer raised no concerns about the filling station plans and none of the other relevant responsible authorities, including the police, objected.

The council's licensing committee heard yesterday from Gosschalks Solicitors, on behalf of Morrisons, and local residents against the proposals.

Richard Taylor, head of Gosschalks' licensing department, said both premises were already licensed to open 24 hours a day.

Mr Taylor said Morrisons wanted to be a "good neighbour" and emphasised that the supermarket would still be bound by trading rules to limit it to six hours on Sunday.

Shopping habits were changing, he said, and the supermarket needed to be flexible to meet the demand.

Nearby residents expressed concerns about car park lighting causing nuisance, anti-social behaviour in the car park and alcohol being consumed nearby but Mr Taylor said the police had not objected to either application.

Objector Mrs Ferguson, who lives in Elm Terrace, said: "Increasing access to alcohol is not going to contribute to a healthy and well-ordered society but to exactly the reverse.

"Of course Morrisons want to maximise their profits but the pursuit of profit isn't everything."

But Mr Ferguson welcomed the introduction of a security guard.

The council is set to make a decision on both applications and notify Morrisons within five working days.