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Former Plymouth head slapped with £1,000 ARB fine

The former head of architecture at Plymouth University has been fined £1,000 by the ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) after being found guilty of ‘unacceptable professional conduct’

The committee rapped Jeremy Gould for failing to disclose a conflict of interest to his client Somerset College.

The college had asked the academic and writer to investigate whether its building, which it wanted to flatten, merited listed status.

Although Gould’s initial opinion was that the building did not merit special status, his subsequent report concluded that the college should be listed and mentioned his membership of the Twentieth Century Society. He had not previously disclosed this potential ‘conflict of interest’ to Somerset College.

Gould, who at the time was woking for Jeremy and Caroline Gould Architects, then provided a copy of the report without the college’s permission to the Twentieth Century Society, who used it to object to the planned demolition of the building.

The ex-Plymouth head accepted that he did disclose confidential information without consent, but denied that this amounted to unacceptable professional conduct. He disputed other allegations in the case.

The committee concluded (see full decision attached) that Gould had failed to disclose his conflict of interest prior to working for the college, and that he had disclosed confidential information to a third party, which amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.

However, the committee accepted that Gould did not deliberately conceal his connection

However, it accepted that Gould did not deliberately conceal his connection with the Twentieth Century Society from the college, and that his disclosure of the report was not motivated by malice or financial gain.

In a statement, the ARB, confirmed that the fine was set at £1,000 after ‘taking into account Mr Gould’s level of insight and cooperation, together with his previously unblemished career and contribution to the profession’.

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