'Captain Tom would have hated what is going on': hero's friend slams family building spa in name of his charity

8 July 2023, 07:17 | Updated: 8 July 2023, 12:43

Captain Tom Moore 'would have hated' the attempt to build a spa complex under his name, a friend has said
Captain Tom Moore 'would have hated' the attempt to build a spa complex under his name, a friend has said. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Captain Sir Tom Moore 'would have hated' his family's building of a spa complex when they only had permission to build a museum honouring his achievements, a former friend has said.

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Captain Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore has this week been embroiled in a battle over the extension of her £1.2 million home - after neighbours organised against the build.

She and her husband Colin have been told to get rid of the complex from their holiday in Spain because it did not have planning permission. They are appealing the decision.

The family used the name of the Captain Tom Foundation to put up the building back in 2021, which was erected "in connection with the Captain Tom Foundation and its charitable objectives".

But after building the pad and departing from original plans, the couple submitted a retrospective planning request which was rejected.

Read more: Neighbours of Captain Tom's daughter want to 'take a sledgehammer' to spa complex built in his name

Read more: Captain Tom's daughter fights order to demolish spa and pool complex 'built in name of hero's charity'

Hannah Ingram-Moore, daughter of Captain Sir Tom Moore
Hannah Ingram-Moore, daughter of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Picture: Alamy

One woman who lives near the house in Bedfordshire said Captain Tom would not be pleased with how events have unfolded.

"I knew Captain Tom quite well and he would have hated what has gone on," the unnamed woman told the Mail.

A spokesperson for Central Bedfordshire Council, the planning authority for the area, said: "An enforcement notice requiring the demolition of the now-unauthorised building was issued and this is now subject to an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Neighbours in the village of Marston Moretaine described being appalled at the revelation, describing the C-shaped block as an eyesore.

"It's a horrible monstrosity," one elderly resident told The Sun.

Read more: What is the controversy surrounding the Captain Tom Moore foundation and why has an inquiry been launched?

Read more: Captain Tom Moore's daughter appeals demolition order 'so she does not have to rebuild tennis court'

A view of the home of Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore, at Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.
A view of the home of Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore, at Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. Picture: Alamy

"It has just blocked our view from the kitchen. Give me a sledgehammer and I'll knock the place down myself."

On Tuesday, the foundation put out a statement saying it would not seek donations, and was closing all payment channels, while the Charity Commission carried out an inquiry.

Captain Tom, then aged 99, raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking around his garden in Covid-19 lockdown.

He died in 2021 aged 100 after catching Covid-19 and pneumonia.

The Captain Tom Moore Foundation was set up on 5 May 2020. This charity is not funded with the money that Captain Tom raised for the NHS. In February 2022 - a year after his death - it emerged that the foundation had spent more on management fees than it had released in charitable grants.

Captain Tom inspired people around the UK
Captain Tom inspired people around the UK. Picture: Alamy

It raised £1,096,526 between its incorporation of May 5 2020 and 31 May 2021, yet only £160,000 had been released as charitable grants. A hefty chunk of the amounts raised remained in a reserve, but £162,336 had gone on management fees, £31,204 on admin costs, £32,275 on governance, £8,280 on IT and £6,542 on office maintenance.

Responding to the revelation, the foundation said: “As a newly established charity, expenditure has been incurred in building the team, which for some months worked on a voluntary basis until funds were forthcoming.

“During this period, we also incurred costs in appointing The Philanthropy Company who provided expert support on governance and fundraising initiatives as well as working with our charity partners to identify initiatives that the foundation could support and which would drive value and public benefit.”

But it later transpired that the foundation had paid out £54,039 to two charities, both owned by Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband, The Independent reported.

The Captain Tom Foundation is under investigation by watchdog the Charity Commission.

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