A PROJECT which was awarded just under £10,000 in funding to transform the underpass under the A40 and the subway to the rowing club, has been brought to a halt.

Initially the brain child of Town Cllr Jem Jenkins Jones but taken on by Cllr Catherine Fookes and a group at the town council led by Cllr Rachel Jupp and Cllr Emma Bryn  - the plan was to ensure that they smartened up the subway and raise awareness of the environment, flora and fauna of Monmouthshire.

But at Monday night’s People and Planning committee of Monmouth Town Council, it seems that SWTRA (the South Wales Trunk Road Agent) who owns the subway, needs to give formal permission before any work takes place. This requires a risk assessment, a method statement and design details before formal permission can be granted for the work to be done.

Cllr David Evans put the oversight down as “human error” in not obtaining permissions for the project.

The town clerk said that the artist has been made aware of the hold-up but the town council is still “fully committed” to the work.

The funding has come from the Wye Valley National Landscape's Sustainable Development Fund and the artist, Paul Shepherd, has been engaged to complete the work with an ‘under the River Wye’ theme on to the walls.

Volunteers painted the subway last month with an undercoat of paint in preparation for the artist to begin work.

The plan includes turning the pedestrian subway into an "underwater experience", displaying the River Wye as if it were at full health with water-crowfoot and salmon, which are rapidly declining.

Cllr Catherine Fookes, who spearheaded the funding application to the Sustainable Development Grant, said: "The two walkways are in dire need of a transformative facelift.