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Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore ordered to demolish controversial spa within three months
7 November 2023, 14:11 | Updated: 7 November 2023, 17:32
The family of Captain Tom have been given a three-month deadline to demolish their controversial luxury spa complex built in his name.
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The planning inspectorate ruled today that the complex will have to be demolished within three months as it was built illegally.
The family will need to remove all building materials and restore the land to its "former condition". They now have six weeks to appeal the decision.
They had applied for permission to build the spa in the grounds of their home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.
The L-shaped building had been given the green light but the planning authority refused a retrospective application in 2022 for a larger C-shaped building containing the spa.
Central Bedfordshire Council said in July that an enforcement notice requiring the demolition of the 'now-unauthorised building' was issued.
The Planning Inspectorate of Central Bedfordshire Council have now dismissed the appeal after a hearing last month.
Inspector Diane Fleming said the 'scale and massing' of the new building - which has not been finished - 'resulted in harm' to The Old Rectory, the Grade II-listed family home.
Captain Tom became a national treasure during the first Covid lockdown when he vowed to walk 100 laps of his garden, raising more than £38million for NHS charities.
He later went on to release three books and was knighted by the late-Queen, but passed away in early 2021 of pneumonia and Covid.
During last month's appeal hearing, it was heard how plans for the building in its current state would have never been approved.
Neighbours described it as a "monstrosity" and an "eyesore", although these claims, according to the family's lawyer, were an exaggeration.
Around half a dozen neighbours attended the meeting, with one arguing that the building is "49% bigger than what was consented" and is close to his property, adding: "It's very brutal."
The family argued the spa could be used by the elderly as part of its charitable purpose to "tackle loneliness".