The unused parts of a proposed wind farm located south of Dorset and the Isle of Wight is to be handed back to the developer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Navitus Bay will return 571km2 – which represents 79% of the original area – to The Crown Estate.
It awarded the development zone to Navitus Bay in 2010 as part of the offshore wind zone agreements for exclusive areas of search to identify projects.
The developer initially submitted plans for a 970MW scheme and a 630MW mitigation option during the examination process. Neither of the proposals used the full development zone.
Stuart Grant, Project Director of Navitus Bay, said: “The project is committed to the two schemes submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and is currently awaiting a decision from the Secretary of State on consent.
“Handing back control of the unused area to The Crown Estate is important to us and we will continue to actively engage in dialogue with local residents about all future decisions affecting the project.”
Last month the wind farm announced plans to fund £8.6 million to boost skills and supply chain engagement in the offshore wind industry.
The proposed wind farm off the Dorset Coast, which will have 194 turbines and generate 970MW of power, was recently campaigned against by Bournemouth council.
Councillor John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Borough Council: “The announcement is designed to draw attention away from the fact Navitus Bay wants to develop one of the most environmentally sensitive parts of the seabed with a vast wind farm which is too close to shore and will severely damage the sensitive natural coastline and local economy.”