Developers want to create “world class complex” on edge of city

The striking modern design of the OPUS proposed for Giles Lane

Award winning developer Citinests is hoping to build a multi-purpose complex on the edge of Canterbury.

Called OPUS, the scheme is proposed for a site between St Edmund’s School and the University of Kent on Giles Lane.

It consists of a four-star 100-room hotel, a 200-seat auditorium, a restaurant, bar and cafe.

There would also be a basement  96-space car park, a rebuilt six-court squash club, 20 serviced  apartments and “incubator work hub/living space aimed at post grad entrepreneurs and innovation offices” .

The project is the work of developer and former St Edmund’s pupil Alistair Noel of Citinests. He has just won a business award for the best start-up company in district.

Citinests’ OPUS development at Giles Lane

He said: “As a young entrepreneur in Canterbury, I am striving to do the right thing by the city I have grown up in, and the one I will be serving for decades to come.

“We really hope we can get the proposal to the planning committee so that Canterbury’s elected representatives can look at it closely and ultimately realise its massive potential.

“There is a proposal to build a student accommodation on this site, but we feel Canterbury can do so much better than more of that.

“Our plan is for a world class multi-purpose complex containing such things as a brand new international class squash club and an auditorium which both the University of Kent and schools  can use.”

The Citinests’ scheme has already won support from significant supporters including business organisation Locate in Kent.

Award winner Alistair Noel

Nick Fenton of Locate in Kent, who is also chairman of Kent Developers Group, said: “I am genuinely excited about the benefits which this proposal will deliver.

“The scheme has all the ingredients to assist in our efforts to create more employment, to reinforce Canterbury’s role as a centre of cultural excellence, to provide high-quality employment space and to deliver a new hotel and serviced apartments.”

Mark Dance, Kent County Council’s member for economic development, is backing the scheme as is Prof John Harle of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Prof Harle said: “The design is both eye-catching, practical and worthy of a prime site in the historic city of Canterbury.”

Click here to view full details of the proposal and comment on it.

Alistair added: “I would welcome positive comments on the proposal at the council’s website.

“I feel this will flag up the proposal to those elected officials who may not know of it or are sitting on the fence.”


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