Architect ‘diverted doctors’ cash to build granny annex’

Architect ‘diverted doctors’ cash to build granny annex’

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wo medical doctors who spent £3.2 million on a house refurbishment are suing their architect over claims he secretly used their builder for work on his personal property, together with a granny annex.

Dr Stephen Pereira and his spouse Dr Preeti Pereira enlisted architect Simon Whitehead in 2018 for his or her challenge in south London and allege he was to blame for the work overrunning by a year and costing an additional £1 million.

The couple declare money and assets from their scheme was diverted to constructing work on Mr Whitehead’s properties. Work included general upkeep at his dwelling in East Dulwich and an extension, new roof, doorways and a bungalow granny annex at their dwelling close to Tonbridge, Kent, the courtroom was told.

They are suing Mr Whitehead, his architectural agency, and his solicitor spouse Victoria, at the High Court in search of reimbursement of half the money they spent on the refurbishment.

The Whiteheads deny any wrongdoing saying the addition of “luxurious” extras to the Pereiras’ challenge, the influence of Covid, and failings by the builder have been the true causes of delays and further spending. Mr Whitehead, 47, whose work has featured within the Grand Designs journal, insists they paid for all of the work executed on their very own properties themselves, at a cost of greater than £300,000. Their barrister Imran Benson told the High Court the allegations have been “scandalous and misconceived”.

“There was no nefarious scheme between the defendants and the contractor to rip-off the claimants”, he said, in a written courtroom submitting.

In their declare, Dr Stephen Pereira, 60, a cognitive behavioural therapist, and his spouse Preeti, 60, a specialist in epidemiology, say they employed Simon Whitehead Architects Ltd to design a brand new kitchen extension and a big basement that includes a bar and cinema.

They say they believed the builder was having cashflow issues and that they have been “advised” by Mr Whitehead to make upfront funds to maintain the work on monitor. They declare they’ve now realized from the builder that the architect had “directed him to, effectively, misdirect the payments… in order to finance the Whitehead projects”.

Source:standard.co.uk

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