CANNABIS plants amounting to a street value of more than £1,300 were seized from waste land in Worthing last week.
Five full size cannabis plants were discovered at the Old Brooklands tip site off St Pauls Avenue by Councillor Roger Oakley.
The Selden ward councillor stumbled across the plants by chance on Wednesday morning.
Cllr Oakley said: “The site must have had around a dozen plants there initially though you could see that some had already been harvested. We also recovered a number of leaves lying around on the ground.
“I was in the area of the old tip site because I was researching possible options for a cycle route that has come about as a result of a neighbourhood panel meeting.
“That was what led me to find what was a very obvious cultivation of cannabis plants.
“They were growing in a little circle and supported by a number of canes.
“I contacted the police straight away.
“I was quite surprised when I stumbled across them, it is not really what you expect to find, particularly on council land.
“But having found it I thought it best to consult with the police so that it could be removed straight away.
“The area is a large piece of waste land that many years ago, from the turn of the last century, was used as a local authority tip.
“It has also been used for farming and was an allotment site for a while in the Sixties, but it has been left in recent years due to fears of contaminated material in the ground, which has never been proved.
“The whole area is now largely overgrown and somewhat inaccessible.”
PCSO Graeme Foster said: “This is a first for the area as far as I am aware. The plants were all full grown and ready to be cultivated.
“People need to know that this is not acceptable and we will now destroy what we have recovered.
“I will also be patrolling the area regularly.
“It is not that common to find cannabis growing in Worthing, and certainly not on private, local authority land.”
Parks technical officer Sasha Bryson said: “We will now be monitoring this site in case this ever happens again.”
Cannabis is an illegal class B drug. The maximum penalty for possession is five years in prison.