A POWER cut in Midhurst led to the discovery of a cannabis factory in Easebourne.
Four people have been arrested by Sussex police on suspicion of setting up the factory.
The ‘factory’ was discovered by police officers at the former Backshalls Garage, in Dodsley Lane, after members of the public went there to find out whether it was also a victim of a power cut which hit the area on Thursday morning.
It is believed suspicion was aroused and police were called to the site.
A police spokesman said: “Four people have been arrested on suspicion of cannabis cultivation after a quantity of plants was found at a garage in Dodsley Lane.
“Police were called after a power cut in the area and a small room producing cannabis was found.
“Four men, a 26-year-old and 27-year-old with no fixed addresses, a 26-year-old from Pulborough and a 31-year-old from Crawley, were arrested on suspicion of production of a class-B drug (cannabis).
“They have been bailed until May 19 while investigations continue.”
A spokesman for Scottish and Southern Electric said 1,000 homes in the Midhurst and Easebourne area were affected by the power cut on Thursday morning.
“It was caused by a workman at the former St Margaret’s Convent School housing development site hitting one of our underground cables,” he said.
Homes were left in the dark between 8.20am and 9.45am. The power cut also affected shops and offices and Tesco remained shut throughout the morning.
The spokesman said the power cut was unrelated to the discovery of the cannabis at the Easebourne garage.
But she said Scottish and Southern engineers were called to the site by police, after it was found, to check there had been no interference with the electricity supply.
“We are often called out in circumstances like this to check the property is safe. On this occasion there had not been any interference with the supply.”
John Backshall closed the family garage business in October, 2011, after 100 years of trading.
It has more recently been leased to the operators of a car wash.