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When construction on the new Slatters Hotel in Canterbury is due to start

Construction work at Slatters Hotel in Canterbury is likely to finally begin within the next four weeks as developers aim to open next summer.

Following demolition of the old hotel two years ago, and last year's archaeological dig, all has gone quiet on the striking 130-bed replacement hotel.

There has been little movement at the site for months, but it has now been confirmed that building work is likely to begin in June.

How the new hotel in St Margaret's Street will look (10010424)
How the new hotel in St Margaret's Street will look (10010424)

Back in December, KentOnline revealed that global hotel chain Hampton by Hilton is set to take on the site.

Documents online suggest a number of other operators, including big name firm Travelodge, were thinking of taking on the hotel in St Margaret's Street.

But, in the end, it is believed Hampton by Hilton - which is part of the famous Hilton Worldwide group and has 2,300 branches worldwide - secured a deal to run the yet-to-be-built Canterbury hotel.

Designed by architect Guy Holloway, the structure - rising to six storeys at its tallest - will boast a rooftop restaurant offering views across to the Cathedral.

CCTV cameras show there's currently no movement at the site
CCTV cameras show there's currently no movement at the site

Zaw Htut, director of Slatters Development Ltd, has confirmed that a contractor has now been appointed for the build and detailed design works for the construction are currently being drawn up.

He also says the hotel's opening is now looking likely for the third quarter of 2020 - five years after planning permission was granted.

Before work at the site was given the go-ahead, Canterbury City Council was in dispute with the Whitefriars Canterbury Unit Trust over a strip of land needed for the development.

The old hotel before it was knocked down
The old hotel before it was knocked down

The council used a Compulsory Purchase Order to acquire the land but Whitefriars was refusing to budge.

But the long, drawn-out dispute eventually came to and an end when the council bought the second half of the shopping complex.

What other hotel brands were interested in moving in?

An letter viewable online from retail and leisure consultancy firm Jackson Criss in a public inquiries pack reveals a number of firms considered taking on Slatters Hotel.

Travelodge: The second largest budget hotel chain in the UK behind Premier Inn. The firm - founded in 1985 - runs more than 500 hotels nationally and already has three branches in the Canterbury district.

Indigo: With the first hotel opening in 2004, the relatively new American-based franchise runs about 100 boutique hotels worldwide.

EasyHotels: A 'super' budget hotel chain kickstarted in London in 2004. It now has about 25 franchised hotels in various European countries.

Malmaison: Located mainly in city centres, Malmaison has 15 branches in the UK. Focusing on converting historical buildings, Slatters - if they were to take it on - would have only been the firm's second new-build hotel.

AccorHotels: Founded 51 years ago, the French company operates in dozens of countries. It has a wide portfolio ranging from luxury to budget hotels and has recently become the largest hotel operator in Australia.

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