Cannabis farm worth thousands discovered in empty South Tyneside pub

The cannabis farm was found at the empty Whitburn Lodge.
The cannabis farm was found at the empty Whitburn Lodge.

A cannabis farm with more than 600 cropped plants has been discovered in an empty South Tyneside pub.

Police officers found the remnants of the cannabis farm at Whitburn Lodge, on Mill Road, on Monday.

Sixty cropped plants were found at the pub.

Sixty cropped plants were found at the pub.

They are now appealing for information from the public in a bid to catch those behind it.

Speaking to the East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum (CAF), sergeant Julie Beattie said dismantling the illegal operation was “some job”.

She said the building was in an isolated area and someone had cut a padlock off a gate to gain entry to the building.

Sgt Beattie said some nearby builders had smelled cannabis but had not reported it to the police.

The remnants of the farm have now been removed

Northumbria Police spokesman

The officer said the building was dangerous and asked South Tyneside councillors if any plans had been submitted to renovate it.

Tracey Dixon, councillor for Whitburn and Marsden, said there were no plans for it at the moment but agreed it was an “eyesore”.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “At about 5.25pm on Monday, October 10, police attended Whitburn Lodge, on Mill Lane, and found the remnants of a cannabis farm.

“The remnants of the farm have now been removed.

“Anyone with information can contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 802 101016 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Cannabis plants can be worth anything up to and more than £1,000 each.

Criminals have regularly used disused buildings in the past to create the cannabis farms, using the empty premises’ electricity and water supply.

There have been a number of cannabis farms discovered in recent years.

One such case was in August, when a South Shields man was evicted from his one-bedroom flat in Vine Street. Wayne Parkinson, 37, lost his home when South Tyneside Council successfully secured possession of the property through the County Court.

The council went on to send a drug warning to other residents.

At the time, a spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “This is a good result for the council which sends out a clear message that drug misuse is completely unacceptable.

“We will not tolerate any sort of anti-social or illegal activity and will take a tough stance on anyone who breaches their tenancy conditions.”