Proposals for a £2billion wind farm off the coast of Shoreham and Worthing have been temporarily withdrawn by E.On over issues relating to the public consultation on the scheme.
The energy company submitted a consent order application to the Planning Inspectorate in December, with a decision on the bid for the huge scheme of up to 185 turbines originally having been expected to be determined this month.
But the firm has now written to the inspectorate, stating last week it had made “omissions in the section 42 consultation element” of its application, prompting its withdrawal.
It had been hoped construction could start next year on the project, if approved.
The company has said it remains committed to the wind farm, which would be sited eight miles off the coast between Worthing and Newhaven.
E.On had conducted a series of public consultation events last summer, which were completed in August. The final application had been planned to be submitted last autumn.
However, the volume of feedback from residents resulted in delays to its eventual submission. This included concerns over the potential impact on marine life and the fishing industry off the Sussex coast.
Consequently, it planned to reduce the number of turbines for the site, which could generated enough electricity to power much of the county.
Its letter to the Planning Inspectorate read: “Having reviewed the situation and taken advice on the materiality of these omissions, E.On has committed to fully address these points prior to the Secretary of State making his decision on whether to accept the application for further examination.
“We understand the only means of facilitating this is for us to temporarily withdraw the application, then to resubmit the application once these issues have been addressed.”