Capt Tom’s family told to tear down spa complex
THE family of Captain Tom Moore were yesterday ordered to tear down an unauthorised luxury spa complex in their garden where the war veteran walked laps for the NHS.
His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, 53, and her husband Colin, 66, erected the £200,000 building after telling planning officers it would be a community space housing memorabilia of the lockdown hero.
But the spa facilities were added without consent – leading to a legal battle when Central Bedfordshire Council told them to demolish it.
An appeal to the Planning Inspectorate has now failed and the pair have three months to comply with a demolition order. In her ruling, planning inspector Diane Fleming noted ‘concerns about the size of the building... [were initially] outweighed by the public benefits’.
But she said: ‘The scale and massing of the building has resulted in harm to [family home] The Old Rectory which I find suggested conditions would not overcome. I therefore conclude that the appeal fails.’
Neighbours of the 2,200 sq ft annexe in the grounds of the family’s Grade II-listed £1.2million mansion in Marston Moretaine welcomed the decision yesterday – and claimed it had further damaged the family’s reputation after a series of PR disasters. Jill Bozdogan, 69, told the Mail: ‘If they had applied for that in their own names, I don’t think they’d have got permission. In my opinion, it was deceitful and I think they knew exactly what they were doing.’
The planning application for the annexe indicated it would be used as office space for the Captain Tom Foundation. But the approved Lshaped flat-roofed building became a much larger C-shaped structure with a pitched roof when the spa facilities – which included a sauna, kitchen and toilets – were added. The family’s case was further undermined when their barrister admitted the Foundation ‘will not be using this building’. They now have six weeks to appeal. Captain Tom raised £38million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during lockdown in 2020. He died in 2021. The family have since been rocked by negative publicity. Mrs Ingram- Moore last month admitted keeping £800,000 in proceeds from three books her father wrote. The Ingram-Moores were approached for comment.