A CAR salesman says a council is ‘throwing away thousands’ by evicting him from a site despite admitting he sold vehicles without a licence.
Lee Wilson, owner of Urban Autos Ltd, has been told by the city council to move 48 cars by tomorrow from land off Burrfields Road in Portsmouth.
The businessman says the authority has backtracked on a decision to let his company stay on the site in return for a hike in rent.
Mr Wilson originally moved his cars on to the site – which is leased by D K Transport, a lorry storage business owned by Dean Wilson, Lee’s brother – last year and subsequently started selling cars.
This was against the terms of the lease agreed between the council and D K Transport but Urban Autos Ltd continued trading.
Mr Wilson said: ‘It was always the intention to sort the lease, I just never got around to it and spent the best part of 20k sprucing up the site. I was shell-shocked when we were told to leave.’
It was always the intention to sort the lease, I just never got around to it and spent the best part of 20k sprucing up the siteLee Wilson, owner of Urban Autos Ltd
Council officers met with the businesses earlier this summer, instructing them that they would need to apply for a change of use in order for cars to be sold from the site legally.
Mr Wilson said that an option of increasing the rent by £2,000 a month was put on the table by the council before the notice was issued on September 21 to remove the cars.
He said: ‘It is ridiculous. First, we are told that they would be happy to increase the rent and then the next thing we hear is they are evicting me. I am willing to pay the thousands it would cost for the rent and they are throwing that money away!’
Alan Rozier, the council’s parks service manager, said: ‘We didn’t receive a change of use application, but to avoid any confusion, as the landowner we reviewed whether we felt car sales was a suitable use for this piece of land and decided it was not.’