WORK has finally started on ripping down the Castle Hill hotel.
The demolition should have been completed 85 days ago on January 11.
But it has taken the threat of legal action from angry Kirklees Council bosses and hundreds of furious letters to the Examiner to get the bulk of the work started.
It is believed that workers will remain on site until the middle of May.
Yesterday afternoon a crane rolled up and workers began to dismantle the skeletal-steel frame.
The Examiner contacted Mick Thandi, of developers The Thandi Partnership, to ask him what the delays had been and if the work was going to be completed.
He said: "Why should I tell you why we have not got it down?"
He then slammed the phone down.
Onlookers on the hill said they were pleased the saga seemed to be coming to an end.
Sheila Roberts, 52, of Almondbury, took a walk with her dog to see what was going on.
"I am glad they are finally doing something," she said.
"This has gone on far too long. This lovely spot has been like a building site for what seems like years.
"They should have just done what they were told to and got it down after Christmas. I have no idea what they thought they were achieving."
Work was halted last May when the Thandi Partnership were discovered to be building the hotel too high and too wide.
The developers dropped a challenge to the council's stop notice in November and had until January to return the site to its former state.
This included taking down the partly-built hotel, filling in newly-dug cellars and even re-turfing.
Once the January deadline came and went March 15 was given as a new re-start date. That also passed with no activity.
Council deputy leader Clr John Smithson said he was pleased the work had started - but warned the Thandis that the slate was not clean.
"I am very happy to see some activity up there and I am hopeful this is the beginning of the end," he said.
"If they put in another application we will have to consider it.
"But I am no more confident than the man in the street that if they had the chance again they would make a better job of it. However, I have always said that once it is down I will talk to them."
In February, when the council started legal action, the Thandis were warned they were breaking the law and could face jail if they did not get to work.
A Kirklees legal services spokesman said: "Legal action is under way and we will be keeping the situation under review."