Captain Tom luxury spa demolition to begin as scaffolding goes up at Bedfordshire home

Scaffolders seen moving metal poles around unauthorised building

Sam Russell
Tuesday 30 January 2024 10:56 GMT
Scaffolders work at the unauthorised spa pool block at the home of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore
Scaffolders work at the unauthorised spa pool block at the home of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore (PA Wire)

Workers have begun to put up scaffolding around a soon-to-be-demolished spa pool block that was built without permission at the home of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter.

A flatbed truck arrived at the property in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire on Tuesday morning and drove into the grounds through a gate off a residential street at the rear of the plot.

Scaffolders, in orange hi-vis jackets, could be seen moving metal poles around the unauthorised building as work began.

Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband, Colin, lost an appeal against an order to remove the Captain Tom Foundation Building in the grounds of their property after a hearing in October.

Inspector Diane Fleming ruled in November that the spa block must be demolished within three months, by February 7, and Central Bedfordshire Council said it would be “reviewing the onsite position” the following day, on February 8.

A vehicle from Apex scaffolding and roofing company drives into the rear of the grounds and home of Hannah Ingram-Moore (PA)

The deadline for the appeal decision to be challenged in the High Court passed without a claim being issued.

Planning permission had been granted for an L-shaped building in the grounds of the family home but the planning authority refused a subsequent retrospective application in 2022 for a larger C-shaped building containing a spa pool.

Central Bedfordshire Council issued an enforcement notice in July 2023 requiring the demolition of the “unauthorised building” and the Planning Inspectorate dismissed an appeal against this.

During a hearing in October, chartered surveyor James Paynter, for the appellants, said the spa pool had “the opportunity to offer rehabilitation sessions for elderly people in the area”.

Workers from a scaffolding company at the home of Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore, at Marston Moretaine (PA)
Hannah Ingram-Moore, daughter of Captain Sir Tom Moore (Getty Images)

But Ms Fleming’s written decision concluded the “scale and massing” of the building had resulted in harm to the grade II-listed Old Rectory – the family’s home.

The foundation is the subject of an investigation by the Charity Commission amid concerns about its management and independence from Sir Tom’s family.

The charity watchdog opened a case into the foundation shortly after the 100-year-old died in 2021, and launched its inquiry in June 2022.

A van from a demolition and dismantling contractor drives into the grounds and home of Hannah Ingram-Moore (PA)

Scott Stemp, representing Ms Ingram-Moore and her husband, said at the appeal hearing that the foundation “is to be closed down following an investigation by the Charity Commission”.

Sir Tom raised £38.9 million for the NHS, including gift aid, by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday, at the height of the first national Covid-19 lockdown in April 2020.

Captain Sir Tom Moore rose to fame when he raised money for the NHS by walking laps of his garden (PA Archive)

He was knighted by the late Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in the summer of that year.

He died in February 2021.

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