Upon entering the Grade-II listed building, officers discovered 343 cannabis plants and growing equipment across three rooms, with indications that a further two rooms were being prepped to also produce the Class B drug.
Gerald Baxter, prosecuting at a trial of issue hearing last month, said authorities found Erjoni Ramaj, 24, of no fixed address; Tafil Ramaj, 24, of Balcombe Road, Horley, Surrey; and Alensio Rucaj, now 21, of High Street, Kettering, Northamptonshire in the loft of the derelict building.
A car registered to Tafil Ramaj was found nearby.
Mr Baxter said the plants were a metre tall, had a potential yield of between 9.5kg and 28.5kg, and were worth between £38,000 and £200,000 in wholesale terms, or from £112,000 to £336,000 in “street value”.
All three suspects later pleaded guilty to producing cannabis, but disputed the prosecution case that they had played a significant role.