The ARB’s Professional Conduct Department has found Mr Adrian Russell of Bakewell, Derbyshire guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and fined him £1000.
Mr Russell was alleged to have made representations about the Peak District National Park Planning Authority in correspondence which were inappropriate, offensive and and/or discreditable to the profession; and aggravated this by copying the correspondence to numerous third parties. Additionally it was alleged that Mr Russell made representations that had not been adjudicated upon and that were misleading and inaccurate.
According to the ARB, the Committee heard that Mr Russell wrote that named planning officers were lying, cheating, petty, vindictive, and committed illegal acts; that the planning process stunk of corruption, and that the Chief Executive was morally bankrupt. He copied this correspondence to members of the Board of the Planning Authority and to 23 individuals or firms active in planning in the area.
Mr Russell accepted the facts put forward by the Board but denied that his actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.
The Committee found that while it was entirely proper for Mr Russell to raise his concerns, the manner in which he had done so had crossed the boundary of professional conduct and amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.
The Committee said it had regard to Mr Russell’s previously blemish-free career, and to his commitment to improve standards in the planning process, but also that he showed no regret for his actions and no insight into the lack of professionalism which his language displayed. Because of this, the Committee concluded a penalty order of £1,000 was the appropriate sanction.
A copy of the Committee’s decision can be found here
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