Ambitious plans for the regeneration for Swindon town centre will not be taken further by the council.

After the Destination Swindon proposals put forward by millionaire property developer Dr Laurie Marsh in 2017 emerged last month, Labour councillors have been critical of the Conservative administration’s unwillingness to pursue them.

The £750m project includes canal-side living, a university and a monorail.

But a motion put forward by the Labour group, asking the cabinet to rethink its position, go back to Dr Marsh and produce a report on whether to move forward with him was defeated as the vote broke along party lines.

Every Labour and Liberal Democrat councillor voted for the motion, but the Conservative group used its majority to vote it down.

Introducing the motion, Bob Wright said: “The council is using its assets with Seven Capital on the Oasis site, it’s using them in the Heritage Action Zone.

“This proposal would see them using the assets to raise private investment for the public good. Our assets would be protected in these proposals.

“The project is about bringing pride to Swindon.”

Conservative cabinet member for economy and place Oliver Donachie poured scorn on the idea of a monorail.

He said: “The figures say the capital costs would be £260m, offset by £75m of contributions from ‘three key people schemes’. That’s capital costs of £55m. Then the operating costs will be £4m a year, with income at £3m a year. Over 40 years, that’s £100m of public money.”

His colleague with responsibility for the town centre, Dale Heenan said the authority had consulted with the Charity Commission, HMRC and Network Rail.

He added: “The whole scheme is predicated on the Gooch Centre at the railway station. Network Rail will not participate. It tells us it is not compatible with its constitutional obligations.

“The Charity Commission is not sure we can do what is suggested. HMRC says the scheme might be deemed tax avoidance.

“Compulsory purchasing 500 homes and businesses is not realistic. I don’t think any more officer time should be wasted on this.”

Supporting the motion, Labour’s Jim Robbins said: “I agree with Councillor Donachie about the monorail. But this is a model that can benefit the town. Dr Marsh is man who has experience in cultural regeneration.

“We just want you to think again and look at the proposals and bring a report to cabinet. If it really doesn’t work, then fair enough.”

The motion was defeated.