Demolition begins on Captain Tom's family's spa as boxes of equipment cleared out days before deadline to knock it down

23 January 2024, 13:23 | Updated: 23 January 2024, 13:57

Hannah Ingram-Moore has been ordered to demolish her family's spa
Hannah Ingram-Moore has been ordered to demolish her family's spa. Picture: Alamy/Splash

By Will Taylor

A spa complex built by Captain Tom's daughter is finally being demolished.

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Workers have arrived at Hannah Ingram-Moore's home in Bedfordshire to tear down the unauthorised building, which is at the heart of a planning dispute.

The £200,000 complex was ordered to be destroyed by February 7 but neighbours in Marston Moretaine had complained there was no sign of works starting.

Ms Ingram-Moore and husband Colin built the spa at their £1.2m home after getting permission for an L-shaped charity office for the Captain Tom Foundation.

A year later, in 2022, a retrospective planning application for a C-shaped building containing a spa pool was turned down by Central Bedfordshire Council.

Read more: Captain Tom's daughter needs to 'get on with bulldozing spa pool', neighbours say, as deadline to demolish complex nears

Boxes of equipment were spotted at Hannah Ingram-Moore's house
Boxes of equipment were spotted at Hannah Ingram-Moore's house. Picture: Splash News
Hannah Ingram-Moore has been criticised over the spa complex
Hannah Ingram-Moore has been criticised over the spa complex. Picture: Alamy

James Paynter, a chartered surveyor, claimed on behalf of the family it would be used for old people to enjoy rehabilitation sessions.

Ms Ingram-Moore argued it was not for the family's benefit because it would also be used to hold cards and gifts from Captain Tom's fans.

Read more: Lifesize Captain Tom statue for sale on eBay for £29,000 after failing to find a public home

But the council's planning enforcement said the structure was too different to the originally-envisioned building.

And a planning inspector found they were unable to get into the building during a site visit in March 2022, and could not look in because windows were covered.

An enforcement notice demanding the spa be torn down was issued.

The spa complex was ordered to be destroyed
The spa complex was ordered to be destroyed. Picture: Alamy

The Planning Inspectorate refused to accept the family's appeal after a hearing in October and they did not apply for a judicial review.

Captain Tom raised nearly £40m for NHS charities during the coronavirus pandemic as he walked laps of his garden.

He went on to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth and died in 2021 aged 100.

His family set up the Captain Tom Foundation, but it is due to close after a Charity Commission probe is concluded.

It launched a statutory inquiry into the charity last year over decisions that "may have generated a significant profit" for a company run by the couple.

It said Club Nook Ltd, a separate firm, had been given the opportunity to trademark variations of the name "Captain Tom" without objection from the charity.

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