POLICE have confirmed an investigation is still ongoing more than four months after around 500 suspected cannabis plants were seized at a derelict Georgian hall.

Drugs squad officers carried out a series of pre-planned searches on Thursday January 3 at Bankfield Hall in Great Urswick. During the search close to 500 suspected cannabis plants, believed to have a street value of half a million pounds, were seized.

During the search further enquiries were made and a second raid was carried out at a property in Scales.

After the raid three men from Liverpool, aged 21, 21 and 35, were arrested, along with a 20-year-old man from Ulverston.

All four were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production and were later bailed pending further enquiries and police have now confirmed the investigation remains ongoing.

Set on a site which has been the location for Roman Age and Bronze Age archaeological finds the sprawling Bankfield Hall has been empty for 17 years according to residents and recent planning application documents.

Located on the east side of Urswick Tarn Bankfield Hall was used as a convalescent home for children after the Second World War before it was used to accommodate executive shipyard visitors.

At the time of the raid residents said in previous last 12 months “extra security” had gone in with strong locks on the gates, private property signs, do not park here notices and boarded-up windows.

Last summer a planning application was submitted to South Lakeland District Council to extend the 11-bedroom hall.

As well as an 84-bedroom hotel, the proposed development included plans for a wedding chapel and a complex made up of 12 three-bedroom woodland lodges but the firm behind the plans later pulled out.

A previous planning application for a similar development, submitted by Bankfield Hall's then owners Kia Leisure, was given the green light in 2012 subject to a string of conditions but the work was not completed within three years of being granted approval.