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Roof comes off Captain Tom's family's spa as builders start knocking down £200k unauthorised building
31 January 2024, 11:05 | Updated: 31 January 2024, 12:02
Demolition workers have taken the roof off the spa built without permission by the family of pandemic hero Captain Sir Tom Moore.
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Photos taken on Wednesday showed the roof on one section of the C-shaped building coming off, leaving a wooden structure underneath.
Captain Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband had permission to put up a 'Captain Tom Foundation Building' at their £1.2 million home in Marston Moretain, a village in Bedfordshire.
But what they actually built was a much larger structure than was shown in plans. The resulting building included a kitchen and spa pool.
Work to demolish unauthorised spa pool at the home of the daughter of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore continues
In 2022, a retrospective planning application for a C-shaped building containing a spa pool was turned down by Central Bedfordshire Council. The building was ordered to be demolished.
Despite Ms Ingram-Moore campaigning against the order, she lost her appeal and planning inspectors told her to knock down the building, said to have cost £200,000.
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.
Captain Tom spa pool demolition work begins
James Paynter, a chartered surveyor, claimed on behalf of the family it would be used for old people to enjoy rehabilitation sessions.
The complex was ordered to be destroyed by February 7 but neighbours in Marston Moretaine had complained there was no sign of works starting. Preparation work began last week.
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.
Ms Ingram-Moore's spa has brought a renewed focus on Marston Moretaine that locals find embarrassing.
Residents have insisted they will refuse to let the negative attention affect their village, telling LBC: "It's a reflection on her, not us."
Local carpenter Ian Burtenshaw said: “It's completely out of order the way they changed the building in the first place, it’s only right it gets taken down.
“It’s tarnishing her father’s name, all the charitable work that he did during Covid…but it’s not negatively impacting the village, it’s a reflection on her, not us.”
He went on: “We’re in the heart of Bedfordshire, I’d encourage anyone in driving distance to pop down.”
Jeff, another local businessman, agrees, and said that he hopes the village will figure out a way to commemorate in the village in addition to the already-existing post box - possibly even with a statue.
“It's more on [Ingram-Moore]...they've lost all the trust," he said.
“He raised the money for charity purposes... it's him that has given the village the name but there's no doubt it has been tarnished a bit.
"It's gone the other way because of what she has done...the village needs something that recognises him, not them."