The reason why a new building in Neath has had to be almost entirely wrapped in safety netting

Safety netting has been put up on Neath ’s new Wilko store.

It follows a “potential issue” with the stone cladding.

The large Wilko store was built as part of the initial phase of the redevelopment of Neath’s town centre and opened in November 2015.

In that first stage, a modern 600-space multi-storey car park was also built.

The building, which is owned by Neath Port Talbot Council , is currently covered in safety netting as a precautionary measure.

Councillor Annette Wingrave, cabinet member for regeneration and sustainable development, said: “The council is aware of a potential issue with the stone cladding and the contractor has erected the netting as a precautionary measure prior to undertaking all necessary remedial works which are at no cost to the council.”

Councillor Wingrave wrote on social media that the netting, which covers the front of building, is for health and safety reasons, “purely as a precaution”.

She wrote: “There is a problem with the adhesive used to attach the cladding, which didn’t come to light until recently.

“Replacements are on order but supply could take quite a while.

“Neath Port Talbot Council will not be paying for this to be rectified, the cost will be down to the developers and manufacturers.”

A spokesman from Wilko said the council, who is their landlord, is carrying out some routine maintenance work on the exterior of the building of their Neath store.

He said: “They have installed a net as a precautionary measure so that the work doesn’t inconvenience our customers or team members. There have been no reported incidents and the store remains fully open as usual.”

Neath is set to be transformed thanks to redevelopment plans for the site of the now-demolished building that included the former Wilkinsons and Tesco stores together with the old multi-storey car park.

Plans were given the green light by Neath Port Talbot Council in December, 2017. In March, the authority announced it was seeking tenders for the design and construction of the new retail development.

The initial phase of the new-look Neath saw the construction of a modern 600-space multi-storey car park to replace the old one together with a large Wilko store.

Phase two will see a further eight retail units constructed. Two of these will have the potential for future mezzanine floors.

There will also be 6,000 sq ft of commercial space at first-floor level that will be suitable for a variety of uses.

Fairfield Way will have to be closed and Walter Street changed to one-way traffic before work can start on site.