AT THE end of a quiet residential street, next door to a park, police have uncovered a house packed with cannabis plants.

The four-bedroom detached home in Maunsell Way, Wroughton, contained plants capable of generating up to £100,000 worth of drugs.

Police said they would not be surprised if there were more similar factories in the same middle-class area.

Crime scene investigators counted 472 plants in various stages of growth in the kitchen, living room and bedrooms of the ordinary looking house.

Only the smallest bedroom was free of plants, to give the gardener a place to sleep.

The kitchen wall had even been knocked through into the garage to make room for more plants.

Sgt Paul Fisher, from the rural area neighbourhood policing team, said: "This is a nice area, a big family house and the Wharf rec ground just next door, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were another two or three within a mile of here."

Sgt Fisher explained that each of the plants could make £200 worth of cannabis.

Neighbourhood police officers started having suspicions about the house, and when snow settled on all the surrounding houses and the roof of number 79 was clear last week, officers thought the abnormal amount of heat could be a sign of being used to grow drugs.

"Because the electricity was on all the time the heat was visible on the roof when it snowed, or using heat-seeking cameras.

"We can also tell if an address is not paying any electric bills. Here there hadn't been a meter reading for quite a while, but they were paying other bills, so we knew someone was here.

"We arrived at about 9am on Thursday morning.

"A 22-year-old man from China was here when we arrived. He is currently in custody and immigration will be dealing with him as he has overstayed his visa.

"The gardener, as he is known, almost certainly has been installed here and told to grow the plants for someone more important.

"We are looking at an organised crime group."

Sgt Fisher added: "We have taken a couple of plants from each room to be sent away for analysis. You get different strengths of cannabis and they will be able to work out how much was there from that.

"The rest have been taken away for destruction.

"We have taken some mobile phones, a laptop computer and some other things away for fingerprint and DNA testing.

"A few neighbours said they had noticed a smell. After we arrived, some residents told us they knew it was a cannabis factory, but if people don't tell us their suspicions then we can 't do anything about it.

"Things that point these kinds of places out is when they are all boarded up, no-one is coming or going or if there is a smell."

Sgt Fisher appealed to anyone who suspects there may be a cannabis factory in their street to contact the police on 0845 408 7000 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.