Dr Laurie Marsh, the man behind the Destination Swindon plans said he was disappointed by the decision of the borough council not to continue to work with him.

He said: "I think this is an opportunity missed - the council has nothing to lose in taking me up on my plan and it has a lot to gain - but they're throwing away this opportunity."

Dr Marsh, who built one of the biggest property development companies in the UK before giving it away and becoming a philanthropist said it was a mistake for the Conservative cabinet to dismiss his plans because it included a monorail: "That's not the most important part of the plan. It's possible that it wouldn't come off, although it's a good idea to link north Swindon and south Swindon and for the council to link its assets.

"The point is the model is a good one for public benefit.

"If a public authority owns its assets, as the council does with a lot of land and buildings in Swindon, and it is in control of its best use, through the planning system, then there is no shortage of money out there that people will be willing to invest.

"There are banks who specifically invest in ethical projects for the public benefit, with money they are falling over themselves to lend. But you must involve the right people who want to do it for the public good."

"I'd say to the council: don't do this by committee, don't do it by politics, but do this for the benefit of the people of Swindon."