Fatal Error: Packages HELP

Having issues since trying to restart Home Assistant front end today.
The UI fails to load and I am getting the following error when checking the config in SSH

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/srv/homeassistant/lib/python3.5/site-packages/homeassistant/scripts/check_config.py", line 207, in check
    res['components'] = check_ha_config_file(hass)
  File "/srv/homeassistant/lib/python3.5/site-packages/homeassistant/scripts/check_config.py", line 328, in check_ha_config_file
    del core_config[CONF_PACKAGES]
KeyError: 'packages'
Fatal error while loading config: 'packages'
Failed config
  General Errors:
    - 'packages'

I’ve searched everywhere and as far as I am aware, I have not created any whitelist directories, my customization.yaml file is very basic and hasn’t been added to in a while.
any changes I made today to the config file I have undone and cannot see what the problem is.

I can’t see anywhere in the error where it is referencing…

Can anybody shed any light on this?