Architect fined £3,000 for ‘incompetence’
Oxfordshire architect Frances Morrow has been fined £3,000 after being found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and serious professional incompetence
Morrow, of Banbury, appeared before the Architects Registration Board’s Professional Conduct Committee in relation to a residential development in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire.
It was alleged Morrow failed to carry out her work with due skill, care and diligence when she signed a professional consultant’s certificate, as she failed to check that the installed sewage treatment unit at the development was the model she had specified.
It later emerged that an alternative model had been installed, which was unable to meet the demands of the development, causing distress to residents.
Morrow was also accused of failing to check that the clean water drainage drained to ‘soakaways’ as per her specification.
It was also alleged that she failed to ensure that a number of roof lights conformed with relevant fire safety or building control regulations. The roof lights did not provide adequate ventilation and did not allow for adequate escape in the event of a fire, it was claimed.
Morrow admitted the facts relating to the first two allegations but denied they amounted to unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence. She denied the allegation relating to the roof lights.
The committee found Morrow had failed to exercise her own professional judgment and skill and instead relied on verbal assurances.
After taking into account the mitigating factors that Morrow had displayed insight after the event and that she had a previous good record, the committee concluded that a penalty of £3,000 was appropriate.