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ARB suspends three architects

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Three architects have been suspended from practising after regulator the Architects Registration Board (ARB) upheld complaints about their professionalism

The ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) handed Glasgow-based Colin Simpson and William Crichton a 12 month suspension from the register over failings with a domestic refurbishment and redevelopment project on which they were also contract administrators.

Following eight days of evidence and deliberation, the PCC found the duo of Crichton + Simpson Architects had not controlled the costs of the project, which originally had a budget of £100,000, and that they had also failed to confirm that the building works had been carried out to an acceptable standard.

The PCC said shortcomings with Simpson and Crichton’s professional behaviour had been ‘wide ranging and serious’ and had included health and safety issues that would have posed serious risk to the safety of occupants in the event of a fire.

They said Crichton had issued a certificate of practical completion for the project despite there being significant outstanding defects, the work not complying with building regulations, approval not being gained for a warrant amendment and an insufficient sum being retained for remedial work.

The PCC said Simpson and Crichton were ‘experienced professionals who had knowingly failed in their obligations and caused substantial inconvenience and financial loss to their client’.

In a separate case, Stephen Algar of Berkshire-based Algar Design was suspended from the Register of Architects for 18 months for unprofessional conduct.

The PCC found he had knowingly allowed planning permission and building regulations to be breached in relation to a south London garden flat he had designed and built in 2003 while trading as Add Design.

The committee said Algar had taken no steps to ensure the breaches were remedied, and that while he had engaged with the disciplinary process, his insight into his failings was “limited” despite them having “created direct and serious consequences for others involved”.

It found Algar had failed to submit a compliant building regulations application for the development; failed to comply with the terms of planning permission; failed to ensure that the building works were correctly completed to a standard required for a residential conversion; and failed to adequately supervise the contractor on site.

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