Secret 70ft tunnel leading to underground cannabis farm discovered by police

4 November 2019, 08:29

The site of the demolished Broadway Theatre on New Cross Road
The site of the demolished Broadway Theatre on New Cross Road. Picture: Google Street View

By Megan White

A secret tunnel which ran 70 feet to an underground cannabis farm in a historic theatre has been discovered by police.

The covert operation was located in the basement of a demolished Victorian theatre in Deptford, south east London.

According to the Daily Mail, the tunnel ran from a nearby house into the large abandoned space, under what was the Broadway Theatre, and could have been operating for a decade.

Police found the tunnel on October 1 after neighbours reported an attempted break-in and officers discovered the toilet floor was hollow.

A trap door had been built to disguise the space, which ran underneath a nearby car park.

Three men and a woman have been arrested and released under investigation.

A businessman who lived next door to the house told the paper: “To think this has been happening next to us for ten years without any of us noticing is certainly surprising. I was shocked.

“My wife and I sometimes heard what seemed like drilling. It was never for very long but it vibrated the walls upstairs.

“We had no idea what it was, we just thought it was some building work nearby – it’s a busy road.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "On Tuesday, 1 October officers were called to an address in Tanners Hill, SE8 following reports of a disturbance.

"While on scene they discovered a large number of cannabis plants along with equipment used in the cultivation of cannabis in an area beneath the residential properties.

"Three men, aged 28, 45 and 47 and a 36-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of the cultivation of cannabis. They have all been released under investigation.

"At this time, there remains a police presence on scene whilst access is facilitated to the site through a specialist entrance at ground level to ensure the safety of the officers undertaking the investigation.

"Although there is an increase in police activity and members of the public will notice temporary structures being erected, there is no cause for any concern and police are working with the local authority to ensure there is minimal disruption to local residents."

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