The manager of a Hampshire auction house which collapsed owing money and goods to hundreds of consignors has failed to secure new saleroom premises less than ten miles away.
Prospect Auction Rooms in New Alresford shut down suddenly last November, but Charles Evans then won approval from planners for a change of use so premises called The Furniture Warehouse in Winnall, Winchester, could become 'auction saleroom and storage'.
However, the owner of the warehouse has decided against signing a lease with Mr Evans. Jeremy Braybrooke from letting agents Osmond Brookes told ATG: "The property is vacant, Mr Evans is not involved in any way; we are showing other parties around and we have several offers."
Mr Evans has previously said he was merely the manager of Prospect, but on his planning application to Winchester City Council he suggested he started the company.
"The reason for leasing the building is due to expansion," he stated in that application. "I started an auction house in Prospect Road in Alresford three years ago and I have outgrown the premises, so therefore I would no longer be using Prospect Road if I am successful in my application."
ATG sent Mr Evans a list of questions - such as whether Prospect Auction Rooms still exists, exactly what role he had there and what the name of the new saleroom would be - but he never replied.
ATG contacted him last week to ask if he would now be looking for new premises and whether he still planned to open a saleroom, but he had not replied by the time we went to press.
Hampshire County Council Trading Standards confirmed to us earlier this year that "we have received a number of complaints regarding Prospect Auction Rooms and this is being actively investigated".