PLANS for a huge offshore wind farm have been withdrawn over fears surrounding consultations.

E.ON had submitted an application to build the Rampion wind farm eight miles out to sea from Worthing to Newhaven.

The huge project would have seen 185 turbines generating 665 megawatts of power off the Sussex coast.

But a letter sent to the planning inspectorate on January 2 said it wanted to temporarily withdraw the application.

The letter said that following the submission it had emerged that there were “certain omissions in respect of the Section 42 Consultation element of the application”.

Section 42 of the Planning Act 2008 places a duty on the promoter of major infrastructure projects to consult interested parties.

The letter added: “Having reviewed the situation and taken advice on the materiality of these omissions in conjunction with discussions the project team has had with (the Planning Inspectorate), E.ON has fully committed to address these points prior to the secretary of state making his decision on whether to accept the application for examination”.

'Committed to project'

A spokeswoman for E.ON said: “We want the application to be complete before the Planning Inspectorate decides whether to accept it and the only way to do this is to withdraw it and resubmit again as soon as we are ready.

“We remain completely committed to the project, but wish to take extra time now to maintain our comprehensive approach to consultation.”

In December, E.ON announced it was reducing the number of turbines at the site after concerns raised by the public consultation.

This included a change to the project’s layout following talks with surfing group Surfers against Sewage.

The proposal has received mixed views on the coast.

It is due to create up to 85 jobs after Newhaven Port won the contract to become the operations and maintenance base.

The energy firm said the move could create full-time permanent jobs with the majority of workers being recruited locally.

But there are fears the wind farm would have an adverse affect on nature, as a draft environmental report in July suggested marine mammals, fish and other large marine organisms could be affected during the construction.

See the latest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Follow @brightonargus

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+