A NEW hotel with a futuristic roof design is taking shape near Didcot.

The Marriott Courtyard hotel at Milton Gate, near Milton Park, will have 170 beds, a lounge bar, restaurant with outdoor space, conference facilities and a gym.

Former Didcot town councillor Margaret Davies once said the design reminded her of a space ship, or ‘something out of Star Wars’.

Building work started last year on the four-star hotel and construction is expected to be completed in the autumn.

It is clearly visible to drivers joining the A4130 to Didcot from the A34’s Milton Interchange.

The luxury hotel will be run by the Marriott chain and will offer an alternative to the Premier Inn on the opposite side of the A4130 close to the interchange.

Mayor of Didcot Jackie Billington said she was delighted building work was progressing well.

She added: “I drive past the hotel every day – I think the roof looks like a skate park.

“I work at Milton Park and some businesses want their staff to stay at the Premier Inn but it is often full up. “The new hotel will boost footfall in the area and be a real asset for Didcot, which only a few B&Bs.”

Phillip Campbell, commercial director of MEPC Ltd, which runs Milton Park, said: “We are delighted that the Marriott brand is coming to Milton Gate. The new hotel will help meet the needs of Milton Park’s occupiers by providing superb overnight accommodation and conference facilities.

"It will also be beneficial for the local community and for visitors. The recently opened Backhill Lane Tunnel, connected to Milton Park, has created a pedestrian and cycle route to the new hotel.”

When initial drawings were released for the hotel in 2015, then-Didcot town councillor Margaret Davies described it as a ‘stunning building’, which ‘ looks like something out of Star Wars’.

In 2014 South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils highlighted ‘the need for a significant increase in hotel supply in the Science Vale area’.

The scheme was granted planning permission under Milton Park’s Local Development Order, which allows development to be fast-tracked. Reef Estates owns the hotel site.

Designed by Urban Reef, the hotel will feature a restaurant and executive conference space.