IT has certainly moved along at snail’s pace. But now it appears the Spanish justice system has finally caught up with actor Antonio Banderas.

Like something out of a soap opera, his house La Gaviota, on the outskirts of Marbella, has always been controversial.

Built right on the beach on land designated for public use, the five bedroom pile, set in a couple of acres in the area of Los Monteros, was declared illegal in 2003.

Now, in confirmation of the sentence, the land has been reclassified for the construction of showers and a changing room.

Under the latest town expansion plan (PGOU) recently published by the town hall, the area is also designated for a chiringuito beach-front restaurant.

“I see myself like a snail, with the house ready to move,” the actor said this weekend.

He might have to get himself prepared.

The house had its licence cancelled by the High Court in 2003 only to be granted a stay of execution after an appeal from Marbella town hall.

It had originally received its licence in 1993 when the town plans had been illegally redrawn by former mayor, the controversial Jesus Gil y Gil.

The house, which was originally built for journalist Encarna Sanchez, was sold to Banderas in 1997.

Despite appeals against the 2003 ruling, it appears that Marbella town hall is prepared to sacrifice the actor’s famous home for the sake of public interests.

Banderas has until October 15 to appeal the decision.