A NEWPORT pub could lose its licence after a cannabis factory was found above the premises during a raid by Gwent Police.

Police executed a search warrant at the Ivy Bush Inn, in Clarence Place, on Saturday March 24 this year, where they found around 20 cannabis plants, 14 which were ‘mature’, in rooms above the pub.

According to a witness statement by PC Andrew Lewis, of Gwent Police, the plants were being grown in a purpose purchased tent, fitted with growing lights and vented through the chimney of the pub.

It is alleged the hydroponic system was being powered from the pub’s electricity, according to PC Lewis.

An application for a review of the pub’s licence was made by Gwent Police on April 25 “on the basis that the premises is associated with serious criminal activity concerning offences committed under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971”.

One man was arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis and possession with intent to supply class A drugs after the search warrant.

The man has been released pending further inquiries, the council report states. Councillors on Newport City Council’s licensing sub-committee will consider the application at a meeting next Monday.

According to a council report, Newport City Council launched a separate, earlier investigation after complaints were made about loud music being played at the pub into the early hours of the morning last summer.

The investigation by the council’s licensing authority provided “reasonable suspicion” that the pub was not complying with its licence, according to the council report.

Events on Facebook advertised DJ sets and drum and bass music sets for times “well beyond” the 1am limit on the pub’s licence, the report says.

The council’s investigation was deferred after Gwent Police notified the authority it had carried out a search warrant.

But the council licensing authority now wishes to support Gwent Police’s application for a licence review.

It says there was a “complete failure” by the pub to comply with its licence objectives both in respect of the Prevention of Crime and Disorder and Prevention of Public Nuisance.

The licence holder, Griffin Properties (South Wales) Limited, based in Portskewett, Monmouthshire, said in its representation to the council that revoking the licence is “not proportionate” and asked the council to consider other ways of resolving the issue.

They said the person arrested had nothing to do with the management of the pub and that cannabis plants were found in rooms above the premises, accessed from a side alley.

It acknowledged that cannabis plants had “unknowingly to them” been cultivated above the pub.

The company says it will ensure any future lessee complies fully with licensing laws.

The pub has not traded since the search warrant and there are currently no plans to re-open until a new lease has been agreed.