Two men have been brought to court after growing cannabis in a long-abandoned town centre restaurant and bar.

Artan Haka, 38 and Juljan Sulaj, 25, had both been involved in growing cannabis at the abandoned Buffet King restaurant on Bradshawgate.

But Bolton Crown Court heard how the police had not yet provided an estimate for how many plants had been produced and that an Albanian interpreter was not available for long enough to translate for them.

Judge Abigail Hudson said: “The reality is ordinarily I would be happy to proceed without the yield but practically speaking I cannot proceed without the interpreter.

“The reality is I’ll need to re-fix it for another date.”

The Bolton News: The case was heard at Bolton Crown CourtThe case was heard at Bolton Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

Dressed in matching grey tracksuits Haka and Sulaj, both of no fixed abode, appeared before the court via video link from prison.

Prosecutor Jane Dagnell said that she was ready to open the case against the pair even without the estimated cannabis yield from the police, but she accepted that the case may have had to be delayed by the lack of an interpreter.

The court heard from James Preece, defending Haka, and Edwin Potts, defending, Sulaj that both were keen to learn their fate, but this was not possible without an Albanian interpreter to translate for them.

Mr Preece said: “Mr Haka’s position is that he would want to remain in the UK but these are things I will expand upon in sentencing.”

Both Haka and Sulaj had previously indicated guilty pleas to being concerned in the production of Class B drugs, in this case cannabis, when previously brought before the magistrates court.

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The state of the vacant Buffet King restaurant has long been a cause of concern in Bolton and has attracted complaints in recent months that it is holding up the wider regeneration of the town centre area.

The building was put up for auction in 2016 having already been vacant for many years before then.

But it has remained vacant since then and the current owners are unknown.

Haka and Sulaj will both be brought back before Bolton Crown Court to be sentenced on Wednesday November 29.