A POLICE drug squad raided a former Blackpool hotel and uncovered a cannabis farm worth £14,500.
Hoteliers on Kirby Road, Blackpool, who say they saw a couple repeatedly entering the Glendene Hotel during the last six months, say guests were put off by the strong of cannabis.
Police, acting on a call from a neighbouring hotelier, raided the three-storey property, which was no longer being used as a hotel.
Neighbours were shocked as the officers emerged with almost 300 plants, extensive lighting and cultivation equipment, which had been spread out in four bedrooms.
Stephen Weston, owner of the Grafton House Hotel on Kirby Road, said: "We were gobsmacked when the police came out with bag after bag of cannabis.
"I had often seen an Asian couple go in and out, they would never spend very long there and said they would be moving families in.
"There was a very strong smell from the building and guests would often comment. It will be far better now.
"There are still many empty properties on the street, and I hope the council will monitor them properly."
No arrests have been made, but officers are still making inquiries.
Det Sgt Jane Atkinson, from Blackpool CID, said: "We discovered this cannabis factory thanks to information we received from a member of the public, and this highlights the importance of the public working with us to pass on information about suspicious activity.
"As a result of this discovery, a substantial amount of cannabis has now been taken off the streets of Blackpool."
Anyone with information about drug-related crime can call Lancashire Police on 0845 1253545 or 0800 555111.