Published: 08:52, 03 June 2013
Cannabis with a street value of half a million pounds has been seized from a derelict social club in a remote part of the Hoo Peninsula.
The discovery of about 800 plants was made by bailiffs who went to the Sturdee Sports and Social Club outside Hoo with a repossession order.
Police were called to the club in Stoke Road, which has been closed for several months, and the plants and equipment used for cultivation were taken away.
The raid at the ramshackle prefab, once a popular venue for live music and family entertainment, is one of the biggest of its kind ever in Medway.
Villagers have been left stunned that the drugs factory had operated on such a large scale without suspicion.
Parish council chairman Lionel Pearce said: “It used to be very popular with locals. There was a cricket and football club associated with it and our residents’ association used to have quiz nights there.
“But it has changed hands many times recently and lately it’s been dying on its feet.
“It is in a pretty isolated spot, but I’m surprised that the parish council has not been told about this.”
Walker Lauren Edgar, 30, whose father lives in the village, said: “Who could believe this could happen on your doorstep? We used to have family parties there. I’m really surprised.”
Lauren’s brother Andy Jackson, 21, was passing by when police swooped on the club on the afternoon of Friday May 24.
He said: “ There were police everywhere and forensic people and two big police vans.”
The cannabis and paraphernalia, including a hydroponic set-up used for growing plants in water without soil, is being analysed by experts.
Officers recovered plants scattered all over the one-storey building.
No one has been arrested.