Leisure centre operators have responded to concerns that plans for a new swimming pool do not include enough seating.

While proposals to build a long-awaited ’proper’ swimming pool in Ivybridge have been well-received, some people have raised concerns a lack of seating will limit the pool’s use for competitions.

But this week leisure centre operator Fusion Lifestyle said it had not made a final decision on poolside seating.

Fusion and South Hams District Council are making major investments in leisure facilities across the district, with Ivybridge’s centre getting the lion’s share. A planning application has now been submitted to radically upgrade the centre, with a new 25metre, six-lane swimming pool the headline improvement.

The centre’s gym will also receive an upgrade under the plans, which also include a new steam room and sauna, sun terrace and poolside changing rooms with showers, cubicles and lockers. The spin studio is in line to be extended, with squash courts and dry changing facilities refurbished and a new, larger cafe with views over the new and existing pools.

The proposals have been greeted with delight by Ivybridge residents, sportsmen and women and local politicians. Discussing the application at a meeting of Ivybridge Town Council’s planning committee last week, enthusiastic councillors said they thought the leisure centre improvements would be really good for the town.

Concerns were raised, however, about a perceived lack of spectator’s seating next to the pool, with councillors saying this might limit the type of competitive swimming events that were held there. But this week a Fusion Lifestyle spokesman said the final design of the pool area was yet to be finalised.

The spokesman said: “A final decision is yet to be made regarding the seating surrounding the new pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre. A variety of different design aspects are still being reviewed and discussed, with the aim of coming to a decision in December. As soon as plans are finalised, we will share more information.”

The investment programme will see improvements to centres across South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council areas. The two local authorities have put forward £8m of funding, after agreeing a 25-year contract with Fusion last year to run the centres. The money will be paid back over the course of the contract.