Owner could close Norwich paintball site if Thorpe Woods housing project goes ahead

Mike Mason, owner of Skirmish Paintball company, says they may have to move from their Thorpe Woods

Mike Mason, owner of Skirmish Paintball company, says they may have to move from their Thorpe Woods site.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The owner of a popular paintballing business has said he would be likely to close it should a new housing development go ahead.

Mike Mason has run Skirmish Paintball on Plumstead Road East, Thorpe St Andrew, for more than 10 years.

But plans for up to 300 new homes on part of his site in Thorpe Woods will require him to relocate if they are approved.

The 61-year-old has now said moving to a site would probably result in him closing his Norfolk operation altogether.

'I have been perfectly aware of what was going to happen [with the site], and to be quite honest, whatever happens, happens,' he said.

'When I was asked if I would set up another [paintballing site], I said that I don't have it in me any more. That drive has gone.'

Developer Socially Conscious Capital is seeking permission to build the properties in an area of Thorpe Woods known as Racecourse Plantation.

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At an public exhibition last month, representatives from the company said a planning application would be submitted in the autumn.

Mr Mason said if the proposals were given the green light he would focus on his other paintballing site in Ipswich.

'It could well be that they get planning permission in six months' time or it could go into a land back for three years,' he added. 'And that would take me up to retirement age anyway.'

While his business in Thorpe St Andrew had been a popular, he said footfall had dropped in recent years.

He added that while the landowner had offered him a new site in Felthorpe, it would still require planning permission.

A spokesman for Socially Conscious Capital said it was a matter to be determined between Mr Mason and the landowners, the Thorpe and Felthorpe Trust.

Is your business going to be affected by a new development? Call reporter Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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