A HUGE cannabis farm has been found at a former Boscombe hotel.

Police enquiries are continuing after officers made the discovery at the Florence Hotel in Florence Road just after 1.05pm on Friday. 

Forensics officers and police dog units have been seen combing through the address, and yesterday afternoon there were still five marked police cars and a van parked around the property.

The property is not currently being used as a hotel, and one neighbour said it closed suddenly. Others told the Echo that vans are often seen parked in the spaces outside.

A spokesperson from Dorset Police said: "At 1.07pm on Friday, September 6, officers discovered a large number of suspected cannabis plants, along with equipment used to allegedly cultivate them, at the Florence Hotel.

"The property is not currently operated as a hotel.

"It has been cordoned off while officers carry out their investigations."

A 24-year-old Bournemouth man was arrested on suspicion of producing a class B drug.  He has since been released under investigation.

On Saturday, a 31-year-old Bournemouth man was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and of producing a class B drug. He has also been released under investigation.

Residents living near the hotel say officers worked throughout the night on Friday. The lights in the building were off, but occasionally neighbours saw a flash, as if photographs were being taken. 

One said: "It's not been used as a hotel in some time and there's always a sign saying 'no vacancies' up in the window.

"It's been like that for months."

Another said: "All I know is that it suddenly closed down and all the people staying had to leave.

"We've never had any trouble with noise or anything like that. I assumed it had been turned into an HMO (house in multiple occupation)."

The building has ten rooms. It is not known when it closed, although reviews were still being left in 2016.