The owner of Ocean Bowl in Falmouth has said he is "gutted" to be turning in the keys after 14 years of running the business.

Richard Harris, who has run the bowling alley since it was built in 2002, said he had hoped his lease would be extended until after Christmas but landowners Pendennis Shipyard said no, and now he will be closing the business on December 17.

The group had planned to sell the land to development company Empiric to build 275 student flats, but planning permission was refused, however the lease will still end.

Mr Harris said: "We were hoping when the plans weren't passed we would be given an extension to the lease, I contacted Pendennis but they won't give us an extension."

"I'm gutted. Because I've been trying all year to get an extension to look for new premises, but the cost of moving everything... Pendennis Shipyard own everything. Including the bowling machine."

Pendennis Shipyard bought the contents of the alley four years ago when it bought the building and the site, then once it had an offer to build on the land, Mr Harris said, the company gave him notice to leave. Ove the last six months he has been looking for new premises, but there is nothing of the right size and the cost of moving "isn't viable."

He added: "The day after [the planning decision] they had someone in to measure up the windows, to board up the windows.

"My staff are going to be out of work at Christmas, including myself."

The company has employed over 60 staff, Mr Harris said, and although some of the staff have already left and found other work, he has both full-time and part-time staff, including students, who will be out of a job - he estimates seven or eight.

December is the company's busiest time, and Mr Harris said they already have plenty of bookings right up until closure. Ocean Bowl's Facebook page also has a message telling followers about the closure and urging them to come for one last visit.

It said: "From now until the December 17 we will have our usual opening hours in force and would love to see you for a game of bowling or two or just a visit to our bar, restaurant or games area.

"We thank you all for your support and custom over the past years and hope to see you over the next two weeks."

Toby Allies, sales and marketing director at Pendennis Shipyard, said: "The site is subject to a conditional sale agreement with a third party.

"The facility and equipment was tired and coming to the end of its life when purchased. It was purchased as a vacant possession development site from the previous landlord. Pendennis Shipyard subsidised it with a reduced rent for several years which the tenant has been very pleased with, extending the life of the facility for three years longer than would have otherwise been possible."

Asked whether the decision to terminate the lease was related to the student accommodation plans, he said: "It would be inappropriate for Pendennis Shipyard to comment on the plans submitted by Empiric."