TENS of thousands of pounds are being spent to keep drug users and vandals away from a historic building.
Three arrests have been made at the former headquarters of the John Summers Steelworks in Garden City since May, the Leader can reveal.
The five-storey listed building on the banks of the Dee has been hit with graffiti and littered with used condoms and drug paraphernalia.
More than £30,000 has been spent since June trying to secure the site against vandals.
Sealand councillor Christine Jones said: “It’s so sad. We have all sorts of people going there. People steal the copper and the old-fashioned radiators.
“The building has been empty for years but the recession has come along and all of a sudden people are stealing. Windows have been shot through and shattered.
“The children and older youths are making camps in the fields on the site.
“The police are having to go there every night to monitor it. They have got enough to do without looking after this place.”
Cllr Jones said the only solution was to demolish the surrounding buildings to deter youngsters from using it as a hangout.
Landowners Pochin Goodman paid £5m for the 200 acres of surplus Corus land in June but have yet to develop it.
Agents Legat Owen have forked out £35,000 in two months to secure the site, including boarding up windows and installing palisade fencing.
Director Susan Haslam said: “We have had to systematically undertake various security measures because people are gaining access to the building and stealing. Obviously our main concern is the security of the building and the safety of anybody who unlawfully enters the building.
“Every time we secure an entrance they have been able to find another entrance.”
Police have reassured residents that they are making nightly patrols of the site.
Deeside community sergeant Tony Heaword told the Leader: “The very nature of the building means it is a target for thieves after scrap metal.
“It’s an area that we constantly patrol.”
Call the non-emergency police number 101 to report suspicious activity at the site.