THESE are the first photographs of the ordinary suburban home used to operate a secret cannabis factory in Basingstoke.

The unremarkable end-of-terrace on Warwick Road in Winklebury was exposed as a drugs den after a police raid on Friday.

Witnesses described watching officers smash through the front door before spending “hours” emptying out the contents of the two-bedroom property.

Today (Sunday) Hampshire Police revealed a 70-year-old man from Hook had been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the production of a Class B drug and abstracting electricity without authority.

He was taken into police custody before being released on bail.

Basingstoke Gazette: The front of the propertyThe front of the property

The property has been boarded up with the back windows left open presumably to ventilate the home.

Fragments of glass could be found scattered in the overgrown lawn of the two-bedroom end-of-terrace home.

Residents reacting to the news said they were surprised but commented on previously noticing a “funny smell” in the local vicinity.

Councillor Angie Freeman, who represents the ward of Winklebury, said: “It is quite surprising but there always has been a bit of a strange smell walking past that place."

Cllr Freeman happened to be passing on Friday while police were conducting the raid.

“We were driving past and we saw police pulling out bags and buckets of stuff, we assumed it must be drugs related,” she said.

Praising Hampshire Police, Cllr Freeman said: “I recognise how hard it is to build cases so I know a lot of work would have gone into operation for the police to have got to a successful resolution. It is great that the police are working hard to keep these people off our streets.”  

A resident of Warwick Road said she and her husband often noticed a “strange sweet scent” in parts of the neighbourhood.

“It is shocking to learn there is a cannabis farm operating on your street, I find it a bit scary. It makes me worry for the children growing up round here,” she said.

“We have lived here for seven years and we really like it. Apart from the recent spate of break-ins, it’s usually very quiet.”

This is the second cannabis factory uncovered by Hampshire Police locally in the past two months.

In May, a gigantic cannabis farm producing an annual income of £6million was discovered in the village of Kingsclere.

It took the police days to clear out the plants, worth an estimated £1.5million in street value. 

One officer described the operation as biggest he had ever seen. 

Pick up a copy of the Gazette on Thursday for the full story. 

Basingstoke Gazette: Inside the cannabis farm police discovered in Kingsclere back in May Inside the cannabis farm police discovered in Kingsclere back in May