THE tide is finally turning against one of the Costa del Sol’s most outrageous building projects.
Locals were thrilled – but cautious – as workmen this week began to demolish parts of the controversial Santa Marta hotel in Estepona.
Over the last year, the Olive Press has highlighted the plight of neighbours, as the building began to tower over their homes.
Dubbed the ‘Algarrobico of Estepona’ they insisted they were being ignored by officials, as the project reached seven stories.
Originally a single-story chiringuito, the hotel was razed to the ground before developers started to construct a 160-room ‘monstrosity’.
This included a three-storey building that was not even on the plans and builders removed over 130 protected oaks from the site.
It was only when locals appealed to Brussels on environmental grounds that their plight was taken seriously.
But, it still took over four years before an inspector came to assess building regulations, and in the meantime locals were left living in a building site – with the hotel towering over them.
“It is fantastic news that something is finally being done, although we question exactly how much,” said one, who asked not to be named.
The town hall has apparently ruled that the building should only be five stories and has demanded that the developers take down the two extra floors and remove the three-storey entrance hall.
“But while that has now gone we reckon it is likely they will drag their heels and then refuse to pull down the rest,” added the neighbour.
Green groups have joined forces with neighbours and will continue to fight to get the hotel removed completely.