The Times has reported that 66% of all licensed premises and 90% of bars are planning to extend their opening hours to take advantage of licensing law reform. However, the newspaper conducted a survey that found just 17,000 residents’ objections filed, as the 4 September deadline stood a mere two weeks away. Many of the applications for late licenses were submitted just before the 6 August deadline, leaving little time for residents’ dissent, or even for nearby householders to be made aware that extension requests had been made. According to the new laws, if a council receives no objections about the extension of a liquor license, the application must be approved. Previously, ministers had insisted that 2% or fewer of licensed premises in England and Wales would apply for license extensions. In reality, it appears that of 190,000 premises that serve alcohol in the UK, 130,000 have applied. The Times’ findings led to complaints from opposition politicians, who speculated that the level of applications would lead to "epidemic proportions" of binge drinking, and that local opposition to later opening hours had "in effect, been gagged." Many also feared that rather than enabling premises to vary opening hours, the new laws would merely push closing later into the night. Cheshire county’s Chief Constable Peter Fahy told The Times: "In the various applications coming through, we are seeing a general extension of an hour or two on to existing hours. And that means that some of the problems we see on a Friday and Saturday night are now going to spread into other nights of the week." New licensing hours come into effect 24 November.