Boss of collapsed Alresford auction house wins planning permission to convert Winchester warehouse

Hampshire Chronicle: Prospect Auction Rooms in Alresford Prospect Auction Rooms in Alresford

OUTRAGE has greeted Winchester planners’ decision to grant permission for the boss of a collapsed Alresford auction rooms to convert a building into another auction house.

Charles Evans applied for permission to convert The Furniture Warehouse on Easton Lane, whilst owing thousands of pounds to scores of people for goods he had sold.

Since the Chronicle broke the news of Prospect’s collapse in November we have been contacted by some 30 mainly elderly people owed money.

One, who asked not to be named, said: “If he opens up in Winchester he will need to take security guards with him. There are going to be a lot of people after his blood. I am owed more than £3,000.”

Susannah Lyle, of Canon Street, Winchester, is owed £20,000, including for her late parents’ Waterford glass valued at about £12,000. She said on hearing about the planning permission: “I am enraged, but what can we do about it? I have got my lawyers onto it. Lots of people are terribly upset.”

Another man, who is owed around £500 and asked not to be named, said: “It is sickening that he closed and then simply reopened 10 miles down the road a few months later. I know the planners can’t take his character into account but it is still appalling.”

A council spokesman said: “The permission was granted because the development is in accordance with the policies and proposals of the Development Plan and other material considerations did not have sufficient weight to justify a refusal of the application.”

Mr Evans’ whereabouts are unknown although his car with personalised number plates is often seen outside The Furniture Warehouse. The building was being marketed last year at an annual rent of £60,000.

He told the Chronicle that he planned to “open as soon as possible.

“The new auction house is nothing to do with Prospect Auctions. I was not the boss, I was the overseer, the manager. The place at Winnall is mine.

“I don’t owe any money. I was not the boss. Gemma Sharp was. All I am trying to do is start a business. That is all I’m going to say,” he said.

Miss Sharp, of Station Road, Alresford, was declared bankrupt at Winchester County Court on January 16. The extent and cause of her debts were unclear.

Mr Evans’ claim not to have been the boss does not chime with his planning application available at the city council planning office. Mr Evans stated he wanted to take on a ten-year lease and employ 15 people, more than in Alresford: “The reason for leasing the building is due to expansion. I started the auction house in Prospect Road three years ago and have outgrown the premises. These premises are currently empty and potentially could stay empty for a long period. It is always better to see a thriving business than empty buildings.”

Mr Evans claimed last November that he was putting the Alresford business into the hands of the receivers. But the Chronicle checked with the Insolvency Service, which holds records of bankruptcies, and there are no records of either Prospect or Mr Evans entering into bankruptcy proceedings as would normally happen.

Companies House has no records as Prospect was not a limited company.

Many complaints have been made to Hampshire Trading Standards which has declined to discuss the case.

The change of use was granted under the planning officers' delegated powers.

 

 

Comments (4)

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12:23pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Tigers Wood says...

Can't we let this shark open the new premises and then campaign for a boycott on using the auction house? Let him commit to £60k annual rent and then make sure he has nothing to sell?
Or is that being hopelessly optimistic.
Can't we let this shark open the new premises and then campaign for a boycott on using the auction house? Let him commit to £60k annual rent and then make sure he has nothing to sell? Or is that being hopelessly optimistic. Tigers Wood
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Arnie! says...

what a complete cad - not only is he hiding behind his innocent ex-girlfriend, whose Station Approach address he stated was his on the planning application (is this considered a false declaration by the planning department, as he does not resixde thers ?) he is clearly the 'brains' behind Prospect Auctions and Prospect 2 - the authorities should be protecting us from this man, not encouraging his behaviour !
what a complete cad - not only is he hiding behind his innocent ex-girlfriend, whose Station Approach address he stated was his on the planning application (is this considered a false declaration by the planning department, as he does not resixde thers ?) he is clearly the 'brains' behind Prospect Auctions and Prospect 2 - the authorities should be protecting us from this man, not encouraging his behaviour ! Arnie!
  • Score: 0

8:49am Fri 1 Mar 13

cardinalfang says...

Another spiv businessman who the council and local trading standards ignore, presumably because it would involve doing some work. He is clearly a liar, using false addresses and misleading council officers, but they do nothing about it. And where is our local MP amongst all this? Why hasn't he stepped in?
Another spiv businessman who the council and local trading standards ignore, presumably because it would involve doing some work. He is clearly a liar, using false addresses and misleading council officers, but they do nothing about it. And where is our local MP amongst all this? Why hasn't he stepped in? cardinalfang
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Arnie! says...

It would'nt take a part time retired rat catcher more than a few minutes to work out just how big a liar and a cheat Mr Walter Charles Barney Evans is, and just how involved he was in Prospect Auctions - its clear even to my dog that he was the instigator of the business, he ran it, he fleeced people of goods and money, then ran away. He also applied for planning permission a month before the business declared insolvency, knowing full well how many people he owed money to. Where are the Police in this matter, do the Inland Revenue not care ??
It would'nt take a part time retired rat catcher more than a few minutes to work out just how big a liar and a cheat Mr Walter Charles Barney Evans is, and just how involved he was in Prospect Auctions - its clear even to my dog that he was the instigator of the business, he ran it, he fleeced people of goods and money, then ran away. He also applied for planning permission a month before the business declared insolvency, knowing full well how many people he owed money to. Where are the Police in this matter, do the Inland Revenue not care ?? Arnie!
  • Score: 0

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