HUNDREDS of cannabis plants were seized following a raid on a home off the A127.

Police discovered 400 plants when they raided an outbuilding, near a bungalow, following tip-offs it was being used to grow the Class B drug.

Officers forced their way into the building where they found a purpose-built drugs growing factory.

Three rooms had been converted and were equipped with high-powered fans, to help get rid of the drug’s tell-tale smell, as well as powerful hydroponic lights, used to help the drugs grow.

One of the rooms, which had the drugs hanging from the ceiling, had been turned into a drying room – which is the last stop for the cannabis before it hits the street.

Another room had mature cannabis plants, ready to be cropped, lined up in rows of plant pots.

Officers also found baby cannabis plants and seized an air rifle, following a search of the building, on Tuesday.

The haul, found at the back of the bungalow next to the Carlton Cafe, off the Southend-bound carriageway, is the largest to be found in the Basildon area in recent months.

Sgt Dave Darnell, of the Basildon East neighbourhood policing team, said: “I’m pleased a large quantity of drugs has been seized and will no longer be hitting the streets of this area.

“When we receive good information from the community, we will act.

“If you know who is involved in drugs, please contact us immediately so we can take robust action.”

A 56-year-old man, from Wickford, was arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis with the intent to supply, while a 51-year-old woman, from Wickford, was arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis and abstracting electricity.

The man has been bailed and police are continuing to question the woman.