The Bar Standards Board has launched an investigation into 39 Essex Street silk Peter Village QC after he allegedly made derogatory remarks about disabled people living in a west Suffolk village.
The silk, who was one of 24 barristers to defect from 4 – 5 Gray’s Inn last year to join the set, is alleged to referred to disabled residents as “three-eyed and one legged” at a district council meeting, prompting complaints to the BSB.
According to the East Anglian Daily Times, Village had been instructed to represent property developer David Wilson Homes at a public inquiry into a planning application at Babergh District Council.
The council had refused planning application to build homes on a factory site in Long Melford due to concerns about access and pedestrian safety and had asked a witness to speak about the impact of the development on people with disabilities.
Village allegedly made the comment in response to the evidence presented by the expert after he said the narrow access way could pose problems.
A resident present at the meeting referred the complaint to the BSB, which has received the complaint but not yet scheduled a disciplinary tribunal. Village has denied the allegations in the newspaper and 39 Essex Street declined to comment.
Village, who is a leading planning QC, is understood to have been instrumental paving the way for 24 barristers, including seven silks, to join 39 Essex Street in 2012 (26 November 2012). Early last year they were joined by former head of chambers Richard Spearman QC (18 February 2013).
A spokesman for the Bar Standards Board said: “We do not comment on individual cases unless a disciplinary tribunal has been scheduled.”