RESIDENTS fear they will be kicked out of their homes to make way for a redevelopment of their neighbourhood.

Householder in Gibbs Crescent, west Oxford, have already been left traumatised by the explosion which destroyed a block of flats in February.

The dismantling of the affected properties from the blast, which killed 48-year-old Guido Schuette, is expected to take until December.

However, neighbours now fear that plans to redevelop the surrounding area could spell the end of their community.

Housing association A2Dominion, which runs the flats, said that once the damaged flats had been cleared away, it planned to rejuvenate the area.

Jess Leaf, who has lived in the crescent since 1984, said: “They couldn’t give us any details about what all this would mean.

“We are worried that if they do these flats up and make them two-beds, then a lot of us will not be eligible to live here and we’ll have to be moved on.

“What we want to see happening instead is CCTV installed, proper lighting, and insulation in the walls, because at the moment you can hear every single thing that happens in the flat next door.

“We want to feel safe when we are here. Once it gets past 5.30pm I refuse to answer my door because I have no idea who it could be.”

Resident Paul Hobbs, 57, said the area was a prime location for the continued gentrification of the city's West End.

He said: "They want this space to continue the West End of Oxford.

"Us being here is a big inconvenience as we don't fit in.

"People are so worried this means they will be made homeless because they won't be able to afford private rents."

Intensive neighbour officer at Gibbs Crescent for A2Dominion Tina Proctor said: “With regards to future plans, we are looking at a number of options, one of which includes the redevelopment of the estate, but we’ve yet to consult with everyone involved.

“A residents meeting will be arranged for late October or early November when we’ll hopefully have more information to share.

“In the meantime, residents are urged to let me know if they have any issues. I am on site most days and my priority is to support our residents.”