Captain Tom Moore

Captain Sir Tom Moore’s family have defended their decision to build an unauthorised home spa complex in his name.

The late charity fundraiser’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin were in 2021 granted permission to build a Captain Tom Foundation Building on the grounds of their home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

Captain Sir Tom Moore's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore delivers a speech during the official opening of a new garden at the Helen and Douglas House children's hospice in Oxford. Picture date: Wednesday August 11, 2021.

Image: Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore

Plans for the site said it would be used partly “in connection with The Captain Tom Foundation and its charitable objectives”.

However, a subsequent retrospective application a year ago for a larger building containing a spa pool was refused by the planning authority.

Planning bosses at Central Bedfordshire Council last month said an enforcement notice requiring the demolition of the “now-unauthorised building” was issued and was subject to an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

A view of the home of Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore, at Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. The Captain Tom Foundation has stopped taking money from donors after planning chiefs ordered that an unauthorised building in the home of the daughter of the late charity fundraiser be demolished. Picture date: Wednesday July 5, 2023.

Image: A view of the her home and the spa – the c-shaped building – which the council has ordered to be demolished

In documents appealing against the notice, the family said the building was “no more overbearing” than a previously approved planning application and the “heights are the same”.

The appeal statement by Mr Ingram-Moore said: “The subject building is no more overbearing than the consented scheme.

“The view is virtually identical save for a pitch roof being added to the elevational treatment. The heights are the same. As such there cannot be an unacceptable overbearing impact.”

The documents also said the council had “no grounds supporting the refusal of the retrospective application” and “requested” for the inspector to uphold the appeal.

It also said the building is set at the back of the site, meaning it is not an issue for public view.

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The council said its reports “detail harm caused to the setting of the listed building and, in particular, the significant difference between the two schemes that arises from the lack of sufficient public benefit that has been proposed in respect of the unauthorised building”.

Documents from the local government body also state the demolition requirement is not “excessive” and the “size and scale of the unauthorised building” has an adverse impact on neighbours.

The Captain Tom Foundation has stopped taking donations since the planning dispute came to light.

It is also facing an ongoing statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission over concerns about the charity’s management and independence from the late veteran’s family.

Queen Elizabeth II talks Captain Sir Thomas Moore and his family after awarding his knighthood during a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Image: Queen Elizabeth II with Sir Tom and his family after his knighthood ceremony at Windsor Castle in July 2020

Sir Tom raised £38.9m for the NHS, including gift aid, by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday at the height of the country’s first national COVID lockdown in April 2020.

He became a national hero and was personally knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts. He died in February 2021 – weeks before his 101st birthday.

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