THREE men have been arrested after police raided a purpose-built cannabis farm on a Blackburn industrial estate.

Officers swooped on the unit in Tattersall Street at around 2pm last Thursday afternoon and seized a significant number of plants and seedlings in various stages of growth.

The more mature plants were estimated to have a street value of at least £10,000, although once they have been sent for analysis it is thought the value of the plants could be determined to be far higher.

Police, who were acting on information received, also recovered a stolen Range Rover at the property, which had been taken from the Cheshire area.

DI Simon Upton, from Lancashire Constabulary, said: “This is part of our ongoing pursuit into anybody who is involved in the cultivation or distribution of cannabis within East Lancashire.

“Although cannabis is sometimes seen as a recreational drug, it can’t be overemphasised the misery it can cause people, and people must be reminded that it is still an illegal drug, both to buy and to supply.

“Experience sometimes tells us that people sometimes start off with recreational drugs, and move on to more addictive and damaging illegal drugs.

“Anyone with any information into premises or people who are dealing in cannabis or growing cannabis plants for sale and distribution must considerit their duty to inform police.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “This sounds like excellent police work.

“I see from my constituents that they are sometimes concerned about drug dealing and what the police are doing, but often what the police are doing is assembling the evidence to make a successful raid.”

Three men, who are all white and in their early forties, were arrested and released on police bail pending further enquiries.