The project will still go ahead, but a major financial backer is now needed.
Stewart Dickson MLA said: “I hope that this delay will allow for more scrutiny of the environmental impact of the work that will be carried out to create this facility.
“I was surprised that this project was given the go ahead by the then Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, as many questions about its environmental impact had not been answered.
“Work must be done to analyse its impact on the local marine and bird populations. The companies involved must also explain how they plan to dispose of the excavated salt.
“Many residents have also expressed concerns about the heavy traffic that will be going through the area while excavation work is carried out to create this facility.”