Architect facing tribunal after Peak Park criticism

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The Peak District National Park Authority has reported a Bakewell architect to a professional conduct board – after he gave damning feedback on its planning departments.

As someone who works with the authority regularly – seeking planning permission for clients’ developments – Adrian Russell was asked by the Peak Park to comment on the way its planning services are run.

Mr Russell claimed there were “serious problems” with the way the authority’s planning and legal departments operated and called for an independent inquiry into the authority.

Weeks later, he was notified by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) – which all practicing architects have to be part of – that he was being summoned to a tribunal on various counts of unprofessional conduct.

The Peak Park claimed he had: ‘made representations which were inaccurate and misleading in relation to decisions of the local authority’s planning committee’.

A date has yet to be arranged for the hearing, but it is expected to take place within the next few weeks.

Mr Russell said: “I could not believe that, after being asked for my feedback, the consequences would be this severe.

“I have already spent £2,000 on legal representation and would anticipate spending three times that when all this is finished.”

Despite the fact Mr Russell is in the process of retiring from architecture, he feels “morally obliged” to fight his corner.

The Peak District National Park Authority declined to comment on the grounds that the “ARB requests confidentiality of both parties”.

But it did say that the ARB does not charge a fee for its complaints service and that the Peak Park was “not being legally represented” at the hearing.

A spokesperson said: “Therefore the tribunal, which is a statutory process, has not cost, nor will cost, the authority a single penny.”