Councillors have approved plans for a new £33.6m leisure centre on the edge of Caerphilly.

The “leisure and wellbeing hub” will be built on former industrial land between the town’s railway station and Caerphilly Business Park.

Accessible from Van Road, the new timber-clad centre will boast a swimming pool, sports hall, health and fitness suites, adventure play facilities, and a cafe.

Caerphilly County Borough Council’s planning committee members granted their unanimous approval for the project, despite hearing some concerns about the depth of the new pool and the suitability of visitors’ transport options.

Van ward councillor Elaine Forehead told the committee the new leisure centre plan “has been welcomed by everyone I’ve spoken to” in the area.

The new facility will be a “significant improvement” on the current leisure centre in Caerphilly, and will bring “benefits for residents and for the wider community”, added Cllr Forehead.

Planning officer Helen Winsall told the committee the leisure centre will be built on land that was once a scrapyard and railway goods area, which is now in disuse and has been “greened”.

When building work starts, some of that vegetation will be cleared, and the council will offset this by replanting trees at another site.

Ms Winsall also said a footpath linking the business park to the railway station approach will be removed and “relocated elsewhere”.

She noted members of the community had raised several concerns during a recent consultation, including the proposed depth of the new swimming pool, which critics said was “too shallow for teaching higher level swimming classes or allowing competitive swimming to take place”.

Future use of the pool, however, was not something for the planning committee to consider, Ms Winsall advised the meeting.

“On that basis… it is considered that the application put forward is acceptable,” she added.

Committee member Cllr Brenda Miles asked why plans for a new car park didn’t appear to include areas for coaches or emergency vehicles.

Ms Winsall said a special provision for emergency vehicles was “not something that has been brought to our attention” during the planning process.

Highways officer Martin Tanner added there is “no concern” about parking for coaches, which will be allowed to pull into a designated drop-off zone.