THE passing of the infamous Los Merinos golf course, near Ronda, was ‘environmentally, morally and ethically wrong’ according to an official court ruling.

But the public prosecutor for the environment has ruled that the mayor of Ronda did NOT break the law by approving the 800 homes and double golf course development on Unesco-protected land.

The ruling, that has taken five years to come out, insists that Antonio Marin Lara should not face corruption charges over his decision to grant a licence in February 2006.

But the exhaustive five-page report stressed that his decision was ‘an attack on moral and ecological principles’.

At the centre of the case and one of the key issues that has plagued the project is that of water supply.

Opponents have criticised Lara for granting building licences without taking into account reports that denied access to water. But while the Andalucian water board did indeed deny permission over the issue of water, the prosecutor could not prove that the mayor had seen them prior to approval.

The prosecutor explained: “While it is certainly logical to think the mayor’s office had knowledge of such reports, in criminal law the same cannot be presumed against the defendant.”


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