From today licensees can start to apply to their local authority to extend their hours.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that local authorities will now start processing any applications they receive and venues will have to inform the local community giving them, the police and other bodies, 21 days to lodge an objection. If no objections are raised the licence will be granted.
But things are not running as smoothly as the DCMS would like.
Andy Gallagher, licensee of the Victoria, in Kirby Malham, North Yorkshire, told thePublican.com: "I've been trying to obtain an application from Craven District Council for about three weeks.
"It's like talking to a brick wall! I've been passed from pillar to post and told that someone will call me back - but they never do. We're supposed to be working with the local authorities but they're doing nothing to help us."
However, a spokesperson for the DCMS said there was no need to panic.
"We loaded the final application forms onto our website on Friday. If licensees aren't on the Internet they should call their local authority. But there's no need to panic - licensees have six months to fill these out and send them back and then a further three months to make any changes."