Captain Tom Foundation stops taking donations as family ordered to tear down unauthorised spa pool extension

Planning permission for the building was refused – and Central Beds Council has now ordered its demolition
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The family of Capt Sir Tom Moore is being ordered to demolish an unauthorised building containing a spa pool at their Bedfordshire property because planning permission was refused.

A newspaper report alleged they exploited the former Army veteran’s name to build the pool in a detached single storey building at The Old Rectory, The Green, Marston Moretaine.

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Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband, Colin, used the Captain Tom Foundation name on the initial full plans for the development, which were approved on November 4, 2021.

Colonel Tom Moore and his daughter Hannah celebrate his 100th birthday (Emma Sohl - Capture the Light Photography via Getty Images)Colonel Tom Moore and his daughter Hannah celebrate his 100th birthday (Emma Sohl - Capture the Light Photography via Getty Images)
Colonel Tom Moore and his daughter Hannah celebrate his 100th birthday (Emma Sohl - Capture the Light Photography via Getty Images)

Work began on the premises the following month, according to documents registered on Central Bedfordshire Council’s planning portal.

After an enforcement visit by CBC officers, a revised part retrospective planning application was submitted and subsequently refused under delegated powers.

The local authority said the demolition order is subject to an appeal to the planning inspectorate.

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“The intended use was as storage and office space for the occupiers’ charitable work to support the Captain Tom Moore Foundation and for occasional meetings related to the charity,” said a planning report by CBC senior planning officer Annabel Robinson.

“Colin Ingram-Moore is one of the three charity trustees and Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore is the interim CEO.

“The building approved under a previous planning permission was to be ‘L’ shaped on the site of a former tennis court.

“It became apparent the building wasn’t in accordance with the approved plans, being a ‘C’ shape instead of ‘L’ shaped, with a larger floor area, closer to the property boundaries in Woburn Road and with some planting removed.

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“Following a visit by a CBC enforcement officer and talks with planning officers, a revised part retrospective application was submitted to regularise what was happening.”

The Captain Tom Foundation was formed after he walked 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden during lockdown raising £38.9m for NHS Charities.

“This building was intended to facilitate Foundation activities, including presentations to press and television, but primarily for Captain Tom memorabilia,” explained the planning report.

“Stored items include 225,000 birthday cards, Captain Tom’s clothing, medals, his fitness bike and considerable honours bestowed on him.

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“The revised application was for a substantially larger building of 208sqm, instead of 140sqm.”

A petition was submitted with 12 signatures opposing the development as the building “lacks character, is featureless and spoils the local outlook”.

Marston Moreteyne Parish Council also objected, saying: “The project isn’t sympathetic to its heritage surroundings and is significantly higher than that approved initially.”

Planning permission was refused last November as the scheme “would result in unacceptable harm by virtue of size, design and siting near a listed building and would lead to an overdevelopment of the site”, said the report.

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And “it would result in an unacceptable overbearing impact on adjoining residential occupiers”.

The applicant was “invited to provide amendments to the application, but didn’t agree to this”, added the report.

The charity is no longer taking donations or making payments because of an ongoing inquiry into its finances.

Hannah Ingram-Moore has been asked for her reaction to the planning process.