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Architect reprimanded after abandoning project

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A north London practitioner has been reprimanded by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) for abandoning a contract to design a two-bedroom flat

The ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee found Mark Skehill of Walthamstow-based M Skehill Architect guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

The committee this month heard four allegations against Skehill relating to the project, which involved creating a new residence beneath the client’s house.

It was claimed that he failed to: provide accurate drawings; communicate adequately with the client; actively manage the building contract; and complete the service he was contracted to deliver.

As well as being the architect for the scheme, Skehill was – for the excavation phase only – contract administrator. He had worked for the client on previous projects but the longstanding professional relationship broke down.

Only one of the four complaints was upheld by the committee, that of leaving the contract early.

The committee noted that Skehill had a series of personal matters relating to the birth of his third child that caused him to take some time off.

It added in a report: ‘Some time after their last meeting on 20 June 2017, which had been tense, [Skehill] ceased to contact [the client] and after a while she ceased emailing him, until one last email from her in September 2017 to which he had not replied. Both then accepted that the arrangement had been ended by him, but not at completion and not in accordance with the terms of their contract.’

In mitigation, the committee said Skehill had apologised; taken on an assistant to help with communication; had no previous disciplinary black marks; and had approached the hearing in a ‘highly professional way’.

They opted not to fine him, settling for a reprimand.

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