Conservative councillors are calling for a multi-million-pound leisure development to include extra parking... despite previously defending the plans and claiming there would be enough.

The Tories fiercely defended parking plans for the Seaway leisure complex while they were in control of the council, including a multi-storey park that will provide 555 spaces – down from 661 that are currently at the site.

But just one month after losing control of the council, the party has admitted it was something they “didn’t get right” and are urging the new Labour-led coalition to provide the full 661 spaces.

A motion tabled by Councillor Kevin Buck and Councillor Meg Davidson states that the development should “provide additional parking spaces either at, or in the immediate vicinity, of the proposed Seaway Car Park Development to meet the shortfall of parking spaces”.

Mr Buck said: “This has come from a review that we did where we looked at the past year or so of decisions made while we were in administration. We reflected upon some of the aspects of Seaway, listened to the businesses and the seafront traders, and as Councillor Tony Cox has acknowledged, there are some things we didn’t get right.”

The council’s deputy leader, Independent Councillor Ron Woodley, said: “I think it is strange that this has come now, they Conservatives had three years to make amendments and they haven’t done so but now they are no longer in administration they want to change everything – why didn’t they do it while they were in charge?”

He added that the motion appears to be “political”.

Labour Councillor Matt Dent said: “If this is possible then absolutely we would look to do this, but I have to ask what has changed since they made agreements with the developer Turnstone, why is it viable now when it wasn’t a few months ago. We also would have to investigate whether this is even possible, the Conservatives signed off the plan and it could be tricky to make changes now.”

Joan Tiney, chair of the Seafront Traders Association, said the proposal seemed suspicious as her association had fought for a long time with the Conservatives over the plans.

“This seems very strange and I feel like there is more to it than meets the eye,” she said.

The former chair of the association, Paul Thompson, also has a history of clashing with the Conservatives over the plans but said he welcomed the new motion and credited the party’s new leader Tony Cox.

He said Mr Cox was “far more politically astute” than his predecessors and said the important thing will be whether the new administration agrees to the motion.

Adventure Island owner Philip Miller MBE, said: “It is good news that the new man in charge of the Conservatives, Councillor Cox, recognises the mistakes of the past and wants to put them right.”