Proposals for a new Active Travel crossing of the river Wye at Monmouth have been approved with a number of conditions.

The new crossing, which will run parallel to the Grade-II listed Wye Bridge and link with Old Dixton Road to Monmouth Leisure Centre, aims to provide a safe and easy active travel route for pedestrians and cyclists.

The plans had a number of comments supporting the proposal and some voicing concerns over the impact on the immediate area.

Emrys Cook Of Adventure River Ltd said he was in favour of the new bridge but wanted to “highlight my concern as to the impact it may have to public and local businesses who use the carpark and riverside access for the running of canoe and kayak businesses.

“Currently the area is crowded between April and October with the general public and business who use the river, the crowding is caused by people, vehicles, trailers, equipment and the amount of space this takes up. My concern is where the bridge joins onto the grass area on the Monmouth side of the river, currently in the busy season this area is left open for large vehicles/trailers to be used for parking and turning around.”

Another concern came from Mr Mark Gardner of the Wye Valley Experience who said that he had no issue with the bridge, but, running a canoe business highlighted that the “space at Monmouth Rowing Club car park is already overcrowded and for a public launch site is going to severely impact this.”

Ian Kennett, former head of Hilston Park Outdoor Centre said: “The bridge is a positive proposal. Looking at landscaping the existing parking has a good number of spaces but looks to restrict access for water sports.

“Mini buses and trailers need a big space to turn and off load boats etc. Especially in the summer the parking is difficult and or chaotic for water sports users at present. He suggested parking cars in the area of the old skate park.”

Graham Symonds of Monmouth Canoe Centre said that Monmouth Town Steps has become one of the most important areas on the River Wye for canoeing, paddleboard and wild swimming.

“It has grown over a number of years as many different types of groups use the town steps and parking: “Many university clubs, D of E Gold Award groups doing their three-day expeditions as well as local canoe clubs.

All these groups require the same thing: access to the river, turning areas for trailers and minibuses with parking for trailers overnight and vehicles for those on expeditions. Monmouth Canoe and Activity Centre have been credited with starting the canoe hire industry on the river some 40 years ago - this now attracts many thousands of people to the river Wye and particularly to Monmouth.

Rachel Jupp was in favour of the bridge saying it will make a “huge difference to Monmouth’s residents and tourists” but pointed out that the bridge needs to be future-proofed and made big enough in the first place to encourage, and then cater for, a growing demand for active travel infrastructure.

“Clear markings such as different coloured surfaces could make the separation between cyclists and pedestrians visible”.

Joe Walton was pleased that the council had listened to the needs of the community, “the visualisation shows clearly how the bridge will blend harmoniously with the rural setting and the choice of a weathered bronze finish is very successful.

“More importantly the proposed bridge will provide safe crossing for the approximate 1500 daily crossings of the river, including 800+ children who make the crossing every day.

This will be the first new bridge over Wye in Monmouth since the Duke of Beaufort iron railway bridge 500 yards downstream. The current project plan would see construction in 2025/26.