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Architect fined £1,500 after designing house which did not fit on site

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An East Lothian architect has been fined £1,500 for designing a house which did not fit on his client’s plot

Alan Sheerin measured a site in the village of Belhaven before preparing drawings for a new house on the site. The proposed house later won planning permission and the site was sold to new owners, who liked the design and were intent on building it.

But when a builder turned up to look at the site, the owners were told that it was too small for the consented house.

The plot had been incorrectly scaled on the site plans, meaning the house was much smaller in the plans than it would have been if built.

The new owners now have planning permission for an L-shaped house, but it has less rooms than the T-shaped home designed by Sheerin. It also takes up more of the garden space and leaves less space for parking than Sheerin’s erroneous plans.

The owners of the site told the ARB that, as a result of Sheerin’s mistake, they overpaid for the site and will have an inferior home to the one they had intended to retire. 

Sheerin admitted he had made an error in transposing the plans and that it amounted to serious professional incompetence.

The ARB’s professional conduct committee, which held a hearing over video link, noted that Sheerin was unlikely to repeat the mistake, as he is now retired. The committee agreed to fine Sheerin £1,500.

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