A BLOCK of flats built to replace those destroyed in an explosion could be twice as high as before, it has been revealed. 

Developer A2 Dominion has outlined its proposals for Gibbs Crescent - the site of a fatal blast on Valentines Day 2017. 

The housing provider wants to knock down all the 86 flats currently on the west Oxford site and replace them with 140 new homes. 

Oxford Mail:

But concerns have been raised that the new build will be six stories high, replacing the current three storey building. 

Although welcoming the proposals broadly, city and county councillor for Jericho and Osney Susanna Pressel said she didn't believe this was a suitable height for the site, given its location directly next to the River Thames. 

Current residents were briefed on the plans at a public event on Thursday after previously raising fears they would be 'kicked out' of their homes.

Some 30 people attended the public consultation at St Frideswide Church to help shape the future plans for the estate.

A2Dominion has been working with Oxford City Council and wants to replace the existing housing, which is mostly bedsit accommodation, with around 140 one, two and three bedroom homes.

Of these, half would be for affordable housing, according to the developer.

Oxford Mail: Gibbs Crescent Explosion the following day - Press conference ..15/02/2017.Picture by Ed Nix.

Ms Pressel, who was at the event, said: "The proposal does make better use of this beautiful site, and because it is close to the city centre it will be car free, which is great.

"It will lead to an increase in the number of beds available in the social rented sector and create a better mix of tenants with more families. 

"This is more akin to what the council feels is needed in the city."

Three flats were destroyed and 11 people made homeless in the explosion which killed resident 48-year-old Guido Schuette.

An inquest found that the blast was likely to have been an accident caused by petrol fumes igniting in Mr Schuette's flat.

When plans for redevelopment were first announced, residents feared 'social cleansing.' 

Ms Pressel said ensuring people are offered the chance to move back in once work is complete should be a high priority. 

Jim Smith, development manager at A2Dominion, said: "The public consultation was well-attended, and we are now reviewing the feedback we received to help shape the designs for the final planning application, which is due to be submitted later in the year.”