A PLAN to ‘squeeze’ 140 flats on a plot in West Oxford where a man died in an explosion in 2017 has been approved.

Residents said they worried increasing the number of flats in Gibbs Crescent by building six-storey blocks would lead to a ‘grotesque, overbearing structure’.

They said A2Dominion’s plan has potential to cause ‘substantial harm’ to the area, where there are only 74 flats currently.

There had been 86 homes at the site but following a fatal explosion there in February 2017, some were demolished.

Guido Schuette died in the incident but authorities said they would not have been able to prevent it.

The National Federation for the Blind also said it worried about the way the new project’s design.

All current homes will be demolished. 

But A2Dominion said the new project will mean an increase in ‘high quality’ homes.

It has said it will provide more affordable housing than the council would normally want in such developments.

It will build 85 affordable homes. That includes 15 affordable from another A2Dominion project at homeless shelter Simon House, in Paradise Street.

The company will not need to build any affordable housing in that development, which will involve the demolition of that building.

Some councillors raised concerns about access to the flats in Gibbs Crescent but it was approved.