A FOOTBRIDGE over the River Gavenny that linked the two sections of Castle Meadows will not be replaced in a hurry, members of the Bryn y Cwm area committee were told.

The Castle Meadows task and finish group was reviewing and updating the management plan for the meadow and addressing access, community involvement educational, conservation landscape and heritage issues.

But Matthew Lewis, Monmouthshire's Countryside Manager said that the bridge had been removed because it had become unsafe, and that its replacement was a priority.

He said: "When repairs to the decking was being examined it was discovered that the footbridge was found to be in dangerous condition with corroded metal and cracked structure.

"We took the decision that the bridge was too far gone to be patched up and it was removed.

"However because we removed the structure we now have to undertake various surveys to comply with Environment Agency regulations before a replacement bridge can be installed."

Mr Lewis said that the new bridge could not be replaced on a like for like basis as this would not comply with flood consent conditions as laid down by the Environment Agency.

He added that a modern structure would eventually link the two parts of Castle Meadows again.

Councillor James George suggested that as a temporary measure that a couple of stepping stones could be placed in the river.

Other councillors said that they had recently spotted otters in this section of the river again.