Captain Tom’s Daughter Defends Unapproved Spa, Citing Plans for Elderly Rehabilitation

Captain Tom’s Daughter Advocates for Unauthorised Spa with Rehabilitation Purpose

Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of Captain Tom Moore, is taking a stand to preserve an unauthorised spa pool built on their £1.2 million home in Bedfordshire.

She asserts that the purpose of the spa is not for her family’s advantage but rather for providing rehabilitation sessions to local elderly individuals.

This commitment is at the center of her efforts to prevent the spa’s demolition.

Planning Permission Challenge: The Spa at the Heart of the Dispute

Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband, Colin, have appealed against an order to demolish the spa pool block constructed at their Bedfordshire residence.

In 2021, they sought permission to erect a Captain Tom Foundation Building on their property in Marston Moretaine. While the L-shaped building was granted approval, a subsequent request in 2022 for a larger C-shaped building housing the spa pool faced rejection from the planning authority.

Central Bedfordshire Council issued an enforcement notice in July, mandating the removal of the unauthorised structure.

The Case for Local Benefits: Rehabilitation and Community Use

During a Planning Inspectorate hearing, it was argued that the unapproved spa, although constructed without permission, would bring significant benefits to the local community.

However, the council remains adamant that the C-shaped building exceeded the approved size by 49 percent and must be dismantled.

Representing the family, chartered surveyor James Paynter highlighted the spa’s potential to host rehabilitation sessions for local elderly residents, aiming to offer one-on-one sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Evolution of Plans: Family’s Justifications

The family’s case is built on the evolving nature of their plans.

They contend that as discussions progressed on the building’s capabilities, it became clear that a larger structure was necessary to accommodate additional facilities, including the spa pool.

To support their stance, some memorabilia associated with Captain Tom would be stored in the building, although not all, due to their substantial volume.

Barrister Scott Stemp, representing the Ingram-Moores, noted that the discussions between the family and other agencies had evolved.

Architectural Considerations: Size and Aesthetics

The inquiry delved into architectural aspects, with the family asserting that the spa annex was 206 square meters, significantly smaller than the Grade II listed building (320 square meters) in which the Ingram-Moores reside.

It was emphasized that the annex is single-story, distinct from the family’s two-story home. Advocates for the family argued that the single-story design rendered it subservient to the listed building.

Council’s Position: Unsympathetic Massing and Neighborly Concerns

In contrast, the council’s conservation officer, Maria Viciana, described the mass of the spa annex as unsympathetic to the listed building, creating the impression of an imposing structure.

Despite its lower height, the massing of the structure was deemed to be disruptive.

It was further noted that the building encroached nearly two meters closer to a perimeter fence than initially allowed, leaving a narrow gap of 2.9 meters.

Outcome Anticipated: Decision and Future Proceedings

The hearing is expected to conclude within a day, with a written decision set to be published four to six weeks later.

This legal battle over the spa pool comes shortly after the disclosure of funds accrued by Captain Tom Moore’s family from his £39 million fundraising legacy, prompting discussions on the ethics of retaining the money.

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