DEMOLITION work has been taking place to clear the site for a £15m easyHotel in Summertown.

The city council gave planning permission for the 180-bedroom hotel in Banbury Road last year, despite a number of objections, including one from the headteacher of nearby Summer Fields School.

The hotel will bring 61 new jobs to the city.

David Faber, the headteacher of Summer Fields School, said during consultation on the plans the lives of people living in nearby streets would be ‘made almost intolerable’ by the new hotel, while another objector said its design was ‘abysmal, like the worst buildings of the 1960s’.

READ AGAIN: The new easyHotel in Summertown is approved

Construction workers arrived on site earlier this year and easyHotel has confirmed that the hotel is due to opening in its 2020/21 financial year.

The arrival of easyHotel in Summertown is another boost to the budget hotel market in the city.

Oxford Mail:

Although Oxford has plenty of boutique hotels and luxury hotels, tourism bosses have been concerned for a number of years that there were not enough budget hotels.

Now easyHotel is being built, and this is in addition to the well established Travelodge in Abingdon Road.

READ AGAIN: Building work starts on easyHotel in Summertown

A Premier Inn is also to open opposite the Westgate Centre, plus a Marriott is being built in Paradise Street.

Principal contractor Acheson has now started preparatory work at the Banbury Road site.

Oxford Mail:

Progress on the project comes after easyHotel plc issued a trading update for the six months leading up to March 31.

Highlights included total system sales up 24 per cent to £19.9m, and revenue up 47 per cent to £7m.

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Guy Parsons, CEO of easyHotel plc, said in May: “Ongoing political and economic uncertainty continues to impact consumer confidence as demonstrated by weakening quarter-on-quarter demand across the market, both in the UK and in Europe.

Oxford Mail:

“However, our actions to drive occupancy, including working closely with on-line travel agents to increase brand awareness, has meant that easyHotel has continued to outperform its competitors as consumers seek out the best value for money.

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“Subject to our continued overall market outperformance as we enter our key trading period and whilst mindful of the ongoing uncertainty, the board expects the outturn for the current financial year to be in line with its expectations. We remain focused on our strategic priorities and believe the current economic uncertainties will present attractive investment opportunities to continue to expand our development pipeline in our target destinations, creating value for our shareholders and underpinning the long-term growth of the brand.”

Oxford Mail:

In November a survey by the Consumers’ Association rated easyHotels as among the worst in the country, after checking customer responses. The hotel chain was given a customer rating of 61 per cent - only bettering Radisson: Park Inn (60 per cent); Old English Inn (57 per cent) and Britannia (35 per cent) - making it joint fourth worse with Thistle. Some residents have also expressed concerns about the hotel’s effect on traffic.