BAILIFFS discovered a suspected £300,000 cannabis farm while attempting to repossess a home in Nelson.
Police raided the terrace home, in Camden Street, after being tipped off by county court officials.
An inspector hailed the find as the third ‘significant’ drugs operation in the town in the last month.
The 500-plant haul, which took up every room of the property, dwarfs the average price of a house in Camden Street – £46,000.
Yesterday, residents spoke of their shock at the discovery, which was made around 12.10pm on Monday.
Usmaan Ahmed, a takeaway worker who lives next door to the house, said he had never suspected any wrong-doings.
Mr Ahmed, 22, said: “I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve never smelled anything, not even a whiff. There were no noises or banging or anything. I’m shocked and surprised.
“I was on my way to work and I saw the police, then I got a lot of phone calls when I was in work to say there had been a raid in my street.”
Insp Paul Goodall, of Pendle Police, said: “It is a significant find and we are making some inquiries as to the possibility of other incidents of drug production in the community.
“County court officials attended the property in relation to a repossession order and smelled something. They couldn’t gain access and called us. We turned up and found someone about to leave. He was about to do a runner and we have collared him. He was arrested and we are continuing inquiries.
“Obviously it was quite a sophisticated operation. I think there has been a room set aside with all the food, lighting and sundries needed. People have been looking after it, probably more than one person.
“It’s a large haul. From discussions with officers, we originally thought there was around £500,000 worth there but I now believe it is closer to the £300,000 mark.
“We’re pleased this cannabis is off the streets but there have been concerns that other terrace properties in the area of similar size being used for these activities. This is the third drugs find in Nelson in the last month and I urge anyone with suspicions to contact us on 101.”
n A 43-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis. He has been bailed without charge until August.The two recent Nelson raids were in Percy Street and Chapelhouse Road.