HE had been forced to take his protest onto the roof with a banner for the whole world to see.
But now,after 14 years of waiting, a German entrepreneur has won a great victory to save one of Ronda’s most evocative buildings from ruin.
After years of battling it out, the town hall has finally given hotelier Jochen Knie a licence for a five star hotel at the Casa del Rey Moro.
It has hopefully come just in the nick of time, as the listed building – a regular tourist stop off for its famous Mina – is in danger of collapse.
The protected 18th century building, which perches over the edge of the famous Tajo gorge, will start to be restored next month.
Last year Knie was jailed for three hours following a rooftop protest to campaign against the town hall’s 14-year delay in permitting the five star hotel. He was jailed because he “resisted arrest with sticks and threats,” according to Mayor Antonio Marin Lara.
The saga continues after Knie’s company was ordered to pay 150,000 euros to a local woman who was promised a home after she vacated neighboring land to allow for the proposed luxury hotel.
The businessman, who also owns the five star Casa Imperial hotel in Sevilla, was later fined 60,000 euros for not keeping the historic building in order.
Since then the building has been allowed to fall into further disrepair and the staircase that descends into La Mina had to be closed to the public for three days in January .
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