Birmingham news Grade II listed Gothic-style cannabis factory right next to M5 in West Bromwich MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - A crop of cannabis plants worth £3 million has been discovered next door to the M5 in a Grade II listed Gothic-style Victorian building
Breaking News ! If there's one thing that police are discovering after two decades of the 21st century, it's that cannabis factories are coming in all shapes and sizes - and they can here, there and everywhere. They have been found in mid-terraced homes in densely populated residential areas, isolated industrial units, former churches and even underground. Now one has been found inside a Grade II listed building under the noses of thousands of motorists who pass by on the M5 through West Bromwich every day. The risk of the electrical equipment catching fire poses a particular danger in residential neighbourhoods as recent fires in student digs in Dawlish Road, Selly Oak and a mid-terraced property in Bridge Street South, Smethwick have proved. In one the biggest Midlands discoveries of its kind, police have revealed they have now found plants worth £3 million inside a Victorian building in West Bromwich. Once home to an engineering company that began life in 1791, its features are a familiar landmark for motorists on the elevated stretch of the M5 right next door. Watch the video above to see how the Gothic-style property renamed Haliburton House fits into the modern landscape all around it. A cannabis farm has been found inside this Grade II listed property next to the M5 in West Bromwich (Image: Google Maps) What has been uncovered? West Midlands Police today revealed they had discovered the farm concealed within Haliburton House (not its original name) in Hall Street South, West Bromwich. Plants were found across all three floors as well as the loft space and even in the clock tower. West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Ade George, said: “We strongly suspect this drugs factory, given the scale, is linked to serious organised crime. Thousands of plants were found inside the building (Image: WMP) “It’s a big win for us and its discovery, especially as the crop was nearing harvest, will be a significant dent in the finances of the crime group involved. “We’ve seized several million pounds worth of drugs plus equipment also costing tens of thousands of pounds. “A drugs factory of this size, with all the modifications, takes a lot of time and effort; I would suggest it has been in operation for around six months. There is also clear evidence of living quarters within the property." Read More Related Articles Cannabis farm fire expert warns 'knowing your neighbours could save your house' Read More Related Articles Firefighters post graphic pictures as cannabis plants found in Selly Oak house fire What is the history of the building? The site was listed 33 years ago. It was once home to a local firm which began life as an iron founder in 1791, manufacturing buckles and livery fittings. The Grade II listed Victorian building on Hall Street South where West Midlands Police found £3 million worth of cannabis plants (Image: Google Maps) The site was put up for auction in 2014 and earlier this year the Planning Inspectorate threw out an appeal against Sandwell Council's decision last year to refuse planning permission for it to be turned into flats with office space and storage. Historic England has the following information about the Victorian building which was listed on March 30, 1987. It says: "This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest." The official citation says: "Offices and stores for engineering works. 1880s. Brick with some dressings of stone and terra cotta.
. Gothic style. Three storeys. Seven gables face Hall Street. "On the ground floor is an arcade of 14 pointed arches, chamfered in three orders.
Right next to the M5: The Grade II listed Victorian building on Hall Street South in West Bromwich where West Midlands Police found £3 million worth of cannabis plants
(Image: Google Maps)
"All contain windows except for the 12th, which contains a door. "Each of the two central gabled sections is of three bays. The central bays contain paired windows separated by shafts set within a two-storey recess with a cusped round opening under its pointed head. "Under the second and fifth gables are two bays, but the fifth has three windows on the first floor.
Drugs seized from Walsall car
Every cannabis bust in a year
Man killed drug bust gone wrong
"The left hand gable is of one bay. The two right hand gables have paired windows separated by shafts, the upper ones with pointed heads, within pointed recesses. "The sixth is of two bays. The seventh is of one bay, its right hand side being cut into by a clock tower. This has paired lancet openings under a pointed stone head with quatrefoil. "Above are clock faces within stone gables with tracery decoration. Above is a short spire now covered by felt, with timber lucarnes."
Survivor: The Gothic-style Victorian building on Hall Street South in West Bromwich where West Midlands Police found £3 million worth of cannabis plants
(Image: Google Maps)
What next? The cannabis farm was discovered after a utilities company reported a surge in electricity usage at the historic building. A Cannabis Disposal Team was not able to clear the site immediately due to an asbestos warning − but after working with a specialist contractor the building was made safe and the drugs removed for destruction. Detective Inspector Ade George: “No-one has been arrested at this stage but our enquiries into who was behind the factory are underway - and I’d urge anyone with information to get in contact." Dashcam or cyclecam video of any suspicious activity is also being sought. West Midlands Police can be reached via Live Chat messaging via the website or by calling 101. Please quote crime reference 20SW/169506P/20.
Source = MetiNews.Com