A major cannabis growing operation has been uncovered in an exclusive Leeds suburb that is home to some of the city’s wealthiest residents.
Police raided the five-bedroom detached house off Ling Lane in Scarcroft – nicknamed ‘Millionaires’ Row’ – after a tip-off that it was being used as a drugs factory by a criminal gang.
Officers found dozens of plants with a potential street value of tens of thousands of pounds inside the property, which stands in secluded cul de sac Lammas Court.
They dismantled a sophisticated growing set-up that included extensive heating and lighting equipment and arrested a Vietnamese man.
Residents have reacted with shock at the discovery.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “I had absolutely no idea what was going on.
“The house has been rented out for the last few months. You never saw anyone coming or going, there were never any cars driving up or leaving.
“I didn’t think anything of it because people generally keep themselves to themselves.
“The first thing we knew of what was happening was when the police arrived.”
Another said: “There has never been any trouble. You just wouldn’t have believed it was there.”
According to a property website, houses on Ling Lane have an average value of nearly £1.19m. Lammas Court is relatively cheap, with an average value of just over £600,000.
The stone-built detached house where the cannabis factory was found is estimated to be worth about £618,000, but was last available for rent for nearly £1,900 a month.
The estate agent’s details said: “This family home is ideally positioned in one of Leeds’s most highly sought-after residential areas being ideally placed for daily commuting to both
Leeds city centre and the market town of Wetherby.”
It is understood the house was previously occupied by businessman Jonathan Guy Brudenell, who was jailed for more than five years last year over a £1.24m property scam.
Sgt Simon Carbutt, of the Outer North East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Information passed to us from the community has led to officers making this significant seizure of illegal drugs being grown in a residential street.
“We will continue to target people who think they can get away with growing and dealing drugs in our communities and local people can continue to help us by passing on any information they have. I guarantee we will follow it up.”
Anyone with suspicions about a property on their street being used to grow cannabis should contact their local neighbourhood policing team via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police are investigating possible forensic links between the arrested man and other cannabis farms in the city.