A BUSINESSMAN has been jailed for three years after a property he built without planning permission was used as a £300,000 cannabis factory.

Shaun Clemens-Cooney, of Bolton Road, Blackburn, was found guilty after a trial at Preston Crown Court of being concerned with the production of the drug.

The 43-year-old was convicted after it was found he had provided electricity from his own house to produce the Class B substance.

Morgan Redmayne, 44, of Pitville Street, Darwen, was sentenced to 31 months in prison for growing the drugs after pleading guilty on August 29.

Police raided the drugs factory in May last year and found cannabis being grown in every room.

Clemens-Cooney had let the property, which he had built without proper planning permission, to Redmayne.

Anne Collins from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “In his back garden, he had built a three-bedroom property, albeit the planning permission was limited to a storage structure.

“The property was let out to Redmayne, and when the police conducted a raid at the property, they found that it was being used as a cannabis factory, with lights and fans and extraction ducting.

“The electricity for the property was being abstracted from Clemens-Cooney’s own house, with a cable running from his house and underground to the property in the rear garden.”

At the time the property was raided, Blackburn South West neighbourhood Sergeant Paul Schofield said: “What we’ve discovered is one of the biggest cannabis factories we have ever had.”

Clemens-Cooney is listed as company secretary of Millbrooke Construction, which was based until recently in Blackburn Road, Darwen.

Yesterday, the company’s website was still live, but telephone numbers listed on the site went unanswered.