FLATS struck by a fatal explosion nearly two years ago could be replaced with a new 140-home complex.

Homes in Gibbs Crescent could be knocked down and replaced with the new development if its owner A2 Dominion gets its way.

The company wants to rebuild it alongside another project to demolish the Simon House homeless shelter in Paradise Street. and replace it with 30 flats.

Resident Guido Schuette stored 80 litres of fuel in his Gibbs Crescent flat and died after it ignited in February 2017.

The blast destroyed three flats and left others uninhabitable. There are currently 78 homes there – but not all of them are being used because they are close to where the blast happened.

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The Gibbs Crescent plan would include two buildings. The first would be four-storeys tall, and face Mill Street. The second would be six storeys tall. Currently, buildings on the site are just three and four storeys tall.

It is proposed to be a car-free development. A2 Dominion has said it would seek to create homes ‘with social inclusivity at its heart’.

Of those, 75 would be one-bedroom flats, 61 two-bedroom flats and four three-bedroom flats.

For all new developments, Oxford City Council typically asks for half of all homes to be affordable and the other half to be sold on the open market.

But A2 Dominion wants 85 of the 140 flats in Gibbs Crescent to be marked as affordable – or 61 per cent of the development. As a result, it wants permission to designate none of the 30 in Paradise Street as affordable.

The Paradise Street project would also be car-free – and is anticipated to have 16 one-bedroom flats and 14 two-bedroom flats. City council officers reviewed the plan with architects in November ‘favourably’.

Following Mr Schuette’s death after the Gibbs Crescent explosion, a coroner ruled his death was probably not deliberate, but that it could not be ruled out.

Gibbs Crescent was built to provide bedsits for single people needed housing help from the Cherwell Housing Trust, which owned the development before A2 Dominion.

Services provided at Simon House will move to a purpose-built development in Rymers Lane, Cowley this summer ahead of its demolition.

A2 Dominion said it has conducted a consultation on its Gibbs Crescent plan – but received just eight feedback forms back.

The company said four were positive, three neutral and that one was negative.