MONMOUTHSHIRE County Council's planning committee has approved plans for a new secondary school in Monmouth.

Work on the new building to replace Monmouth Comprehensive School is due to start later this year, with the main build due to be completed in late 2017. This is the latest development in the council's 21st Century Schools programme, which includes new schools for Raglan and Caldicot.

The cabinet member for education, Cllr Liz Hacket Pain said: "The 21st Century Schools programme is the most exciting project in the whole of Monmouthshire and it has been a long time coming. The new school will enhance the learning of many young learners in the county, changing the facilities in which they learn for entire generations of young people."

This is the first of two stages in Monmouthshire's 21st Century Schools strategy, with the development of two other secondary schools in Chepstow and Abergavenny pivotal to the next round of government funding programmed for 2018.

Deputy head teacher, Tim Bird said: "We have been on a learning journey at Monmouth Comprehensive School for a number of years and we have now reached a point where the learning environment is not helping the students achieve to their best ability.

"We are sure that the new school will have a big impact on students' learning and we are delighted that Welsh Government and Monmouthshire County Council is investing in the future of young people in Monmouth and its surrounding area for generations to come."

Designs for the new secondary schools can be viewed in County Hall in Usk. Welsh Government formally approved funding for the two new secondary schools at Caldicot and Monmouth in April, with both due to open in late 2017.

Monmouthshire County Council and Welsh Government have committed an equal share of the cost of the building.