TATA Chemicals Europe’s plant at Lostock Gralam will not be developed in two phases.

So said the company today as it responded to comments in the Guardian and on its website about the planned building of the energy-from-waste plant.

Work could begin later this year to clear land paving the way for the building of an EfW plant by Tata on land occupied by the old Lostock Power Station.

It will take between 12 and 18 months to divert the services crossing the site and to demolish the old power station, and then three years to build the new plant.

Tata needs to comply with 13 planning conditions before it starts work on site, and has submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council a series of applications for approval detailing how the conditions will be met.

The conditions relate to the planning consent for the plant which was given in 2012, and expires in October.

Tata spokesman Fraser Ramsay said: “In response to recent comments in the press, and internet postings, stating that the proposed development of the Lostock EfW plant will be in two phases, Tata can categorically confirm that the Lostock EfW plant will not be developed in two phases.

“The development will be in accordance with the planning consent.”

Tata’s response is in part to an article in the Guardian focusing on comments about the plant by Cheshire West and Chester councillor Mark Stocks.

“The application appears to be changed from a single build phase to a two-build phase, which constitutes a major change of the planning application,” Cllr Stocks said in the article.

“The developers have left it so late in the day to move forward to agree these conditions for approval that the current application should be allowed to lapse and a new one submitted, taking into account the significant changes in the area.”