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07th Nov 2023

Captain Tom’s family ordered to demolish luxury spa in garden

Charlie Herbert

Captain tom spa

The family lost their planning application appeal

The family of Captain Tom Moore have been ordered to demolish the luxury spa they built in the garden of their home.

The army veteran’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, and her husband Colin had appealed against an order by Central Bedfordshire Council to pull down the building.

But they have since lost this appeal, and have three months to demolish the spa complex.

Ingram-Moore had used her father’s name on the initial plans for the structure, having initially told planners they wanted an office for the Captain Tom Foundation. This was the charity set up in her father’s name following his fundraising efforts during the first Covid lockdown.

The couple used the foundation’s name on the first plans for the “Captain Tom Foundation Building” in August 2021.

Permission for the building to be built on the tennis courts at the Grade-II listed home, where Ingram-Moore had lived with her father, was initially granted by Central Bedfordshire Council.

Documents said it was “for use by occupiers… and Captain Tom Foundation,” the BBC reports.

The C-shaped spa building was built in the garden of the family home (Getty)

In February 2022 though, the family submitted a revised plans whilst the building was under construction, which included plans for a spa, pool, toilets and a kitchen.

The single-storey build was called the “Captain Tom Building”, and the Design & Access and Heritage Statement said it was “for private use”.

The council refused these plans, but the family appealed against this.

The Planning Inspectorate dismissed their appeal after a hearing last month though, the BBC reports.

In a letter announcing the decision, Inspector Diane Fleming said the “scale and massing” of the partially built building had “resulted in harm” to The Old Rectory, the family home and a Grade II listed building in Marston Moretaine.

The council told the hearing that they had been told the building was urgently needed for the foundation’s fundraising and to house memorabilia.

Representatives for the family had argued the building would enable the public to enjoy Capt Tom’s work and the spa pool would offer “rehabilitation sessions”.

Captain Tom and his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore (Getty)

They also said the building would be used for coffee mornings and charity meetings to fight loneliness amongst the elderly.

In her decision though, Inspector Diane Fleming said there was no evidence of how this would work.

She said in her decision: “In the absence of any substantiated information, I find the suggested public benefit would therefore not outweigh the great weight to be given to the harm to the heritage asset.”

Captain Tom raised millions of pounds during the first Covid lockdown when he walked laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS ahead of his 100th birthday.

By the time his fundraising efforts came to an end, almost £39m was raised for the health service.

As a result, he was knighted and the Captain Tom Foundation was set up in May 2020 by his daughter, which pledged to support four charities chosen by the late Captain and his family – The Royal British Legion, Mind, Helen & Douglas House, and Willen Hospice.

Since his passing in February 2021 though, the foundation has been embroiled in controversy though, amid concerns that the family had profited from using the veteran’s name.

In May 2022, it was investigated over concerns about its accounts, which showed roughly a tenth of all money raised by the foundation was spent on fundraising consultancy fees.

This was followed by reports that the charity tried to appoint Mrs Ingram-Moore as its CEO on a six-figure salary.

Related links:

Captain Tom’s daughter admits pocketing £800k after her dad’s death

Captain Tom Moore’s daughter’s company was paid thousands for charity event