PLANS for 1,650 new homes could collapse after Tories vowed to vote against the £500million Queensway project if the underpass is filled.

Plans to raise the underpass – a key link between the town centre and seafront – and fill the space with a water tank to prevent seafront flooding would create traffic chaos according to Tory councillors.

Leader Tony Cox claimed, during a meeting of the policy and scrutiny committee, removing the underpass would create “gridlock”.

He said: “The support for causing carnage and gridlock in this town isn’t from this group. This group will not support the change to the underpass.”

He added the proposal was an “absurd suggestion” and he hopes “common sense prevails”.

When the change to the underpass was revealed during a public consultation event, Tory councillors said they were shocked by the change and called for it to be scrapped.

But leaked documents later revealed the change had been included in confidential papers which had been approved in February, when the Tories were in charge of the council.

Council leader, Labour’s Ian Gilbert said: “The proposal to raise the underpass is not a new proposal.

“If he [Tony Cox] said ‘we’ve looked at this and it’s a problem’, we would be saying yes we can see there are problems and we will look for ways they can be mitigated, that is our position and if the opposition wants to play the blame game, they are on shaky ground.”

Mr Gilbert said the plans are not final and removing changes to the underpass is possible but it would require trade-offs.

The huge Queensway town centre housing scheme involves demolishing tower blocks and building new homes.