The man being prosecuted for damaging Grade-II listed bridge was struck off by regulator in 2005 for professional misconduct

It has emerged that the developer facing prosecution for drilling holes into Putney Bridge was struck off the Architects Registration Board for professional misconduct in 2005.

Clifford Gardner, who faces legal action from Wandsworth Council's planning department for drilling large holes into the Grade-II listed structure, was taken off the list of approved architects for practising without insurance.

Just before Christmas the council discovered that a large diamond tipped drill had been used to cut through the granite wall of the bridge after a member of the public reported the damage.

Allegedly Gardner was trying to open up the large vaults that lie underneath the Lower Richmond Road at the junction with Putney Bridge and Putney High Street, which are an integral part of the bridge's structure.

A council spokesperson said structural damage could have resulted if the council had not intervened when it did.

The injunction currently in force prevents Gardner from carrying out any further works to any part of the bridge and from approaching the area around the vaults from the public slipway.

If found guilty Gardner faces the possibility of an unlimited fine and imprisonment of up to two years.