PUBS in Teesdale have been warned to apply for a new licence or risk not being able to trade.

Only 12 pubs out of 170 have applied to convert their licence from an old Justices Licence.

There are only seven weeks remaining for licensed premises to convert their paperwork into the appropriate licences under the Licensing Act 2003.

All licence applications received after August 6, will be unable to convert their licenses and will have to apply for a new licence.

Ashley Rocks-Menon, the head of legal and licensing services at Teesdale District Council, said: "If the pubs apply to convert their licence the only people who can object are the police and if there's no objection then the pub can go ahead.

"After August 6, it's a much more involved process. You're then required to advertise the application and the police and fire authorities and residents can object to it. The council's concerned that so few people have come forward to convert their licence."

The new Act comes into power on November 24.

Ms Rocks-Menon warned it took time for the council to process applications and anyone who submitted their application at the last minute may not have it completed in time.

Application forms are available from the legal and licensing unit on (01833) 690000.