A COMPANY that has started work on a controversial hotel before even getting planning permission is facing a fine of up to 2.4 million euros.

Círculo Agroambiental SL is being taken to court by the Junta after it began work on the 50-room hotel in Campilla de Gata, in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar natural park.

The Junta considers the arrival of heavy machinery to start clearing the land a grave infringement.

Works were halted voluntarily after company employees and workers were issued with writs from Seprona, the Guardia Civil’s environmental arm.

Curiously, no such moves were taken over the nearby illegal Algorrobico hotel, which was almost finished before works were stopped.

The same situation has taken place in Ronda, where developers behind the controversial Los Merinos golf project spent millions on land clearance before getting definitive permission.

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