Captain Tom Foundation STOPS taking donations as council orders daughter to tear down ‘illegal’ spa

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Captain Sir Tom Moore‘s foundation has stopped taking donations as the lockdown hero’s daughter has been ordered to tear down an allegedly illegal spa pool extension to her £1.2million home.

Hannah Ingram-Moore, 52, and husband Colin successfully applied to erect a building in the garden of their sprawling Grade II-listed Bedfordshire house, where the war hero walked laps to raise millions for the NHS.

But they later applied for retrospective permission after adding a 50ft by 20ft pool house with changing rooms, showers and toilets to the single-storey structure.  

The couple have now been told they must raze the annexe – though they are appealing the decision – which they have been accused of using the foundation’s name to build.

The Charity Commission has launched a formal probe into the foundation. A statement on the fundraiser’s website says it had stopped ‘actively seeking any funding from donors’ while the Commission completes its investigation.

Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin made an application to build an L-shaped building next to their home in Bedfordshire before later adding a 50ft by 20ft pool house complete with changing rooms, showers and toilets

Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin made an application to build an L-shaped building next to their home in Bedfordshire before later adding a 50ft by 20ft pool house complete with changing rooms, showers and toilets

The Captain Tome Foundation has stopped taking donations as the lockdown hero's daughter has been ordered to tear down an allegedly illegal spa pool extension to her £1.2million home. Captain Sir Tom Moore is pictured with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore in 2020

The Captain Tome Foundation has stopped taking donations as the lockdown hero’s daughter has been ordered to tear down an allegedly illegal spa pool extension to her £1.2million home. Captain Sir Tom Moore is pictured with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore in 2020

Sir Tom Moore (pictured front) along with his grandchildren Benji (left), Georgia (middle left), his daughter Hannah (middle right) and her husband Colin Ingram (right) while enjoying the Barbados sunshine in December 2020

Sir Tom Moore (pictured front) along with his grandchildren Benji (left), Georgia (middle left), his daughter Hannah (middle right) and her husband Colin Ingram (right) while enjoying the Barbados sunshine in December 2020

‘At this moment in time, the sole focus of The Captain Tom Foundation is to ensure that it cooperates fully with the ongoing Statutory Inquiry by the Charity Commission,’ a statement on the foundation’s website yesterday said.

‘As a result, The Captain Tom Foundation is not presently actively seeking any funding from donors.

‘Accordingly, we have also taken the decision to close all payment channels whilst the Statutory Inquiry remains open.

‘Once the findings of the Statutory Inquiry have been communicated, The Captain Tom Foundation will be in a better position to make a decision in relation to its future but, for now, our main priority is to assist the Charity Commission with its enquiry.’

The Charity Commission declined to comment yesterday because of its current probe into the Captain Tom Foundation, which began in 2021.

Foundation bosses halting the acceptance of donations appears to come as planning chiefs have ordered that the couple’s allegedly illegal spa complex be torn down.

Documents show the original application was in their name but the ‘design and access statement for heritage assets’ – needed for listed buildings – added the office was required ‘in connection with The Captain Tom Foundation and its charitable objectives’.

The foundation, which relies on donations to hand out public health and wellbeing grants and is not connected to the £33million its namesake raised for the NHS, issued a stern statement saying it had no knowledge of being referred to in the application.

It added: ‘Had they been aware of any applications, the independent trustees would not have authorised them.’

Central Bedfordshire Council yesterday confirmed the office had been approved in 2021 but explained that last year it subsequently received a retrospective planning application that had been refused.

The council added: ‘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.’

In August 2021, Mr and Mrs Ingram-Moore sought planning permission for a charity office which they said was 'urgently required' for presentations and memorabilia

In August 2021, Mr and Mrs Ingram-Moore sought planning permission for a charity office which they said was ‘urgently required’ for presentations and memorabilia

The building was given the green light, but a retrospective application for the spa complex (pictured) made under their own name was refused last year - meaning that they face having to tear that down

The building was given the green light, but a retrospective application for the spa complex (pictured) made under their own name was refused last year – meaning that they face having to tear that down

The ruling adds to the controversy surrounding the foundation which was already in crisis after the Charity Commission launched a formal investigation last year into decisions that ‘may have generated significant profit’ for a private company run by the Ingram-Moores.

The statutory inquiry is looking at how Club Nook Limited was given the ‘opportunity to trade mark variations of the name Captain Tom without objection from the charity’.

The foundation has raised money with branded merchandise including gin and T-shirts.

The Commission turned down an application from the charity in 2021 to employ mother-of-two Mrs Ingram-Moore as chief executive on a £100,000 salary. It ruled that the income, was ‘neither reasonable not justifiable’.

Businesswoman Mrs Ingram-Moore was later allowed to act as interim chief executive on an £85,000-a-year salary, on a three-month contract for a maximum of nine months. A new chief executive took over in June last year. 

The Captain Tom Foundation was registered on June 5, 2020 following his fundraising efforts. Pictured: Sir Tom and his daughter Hannah celebrate his 100 laps

The Captain Tom Foundation was registered on June 5, 2020 following his fundraising efforts. Pictured: Sir Tom and his daughter Hannah celebrate his 100 laps 

Captain Tom Moore reacts after completing the 100th length of his back garden in Marston Moretaine in April 2020 during the Covid lockdown

Captain Tom Moore reacts after completing the 100th length of his back garden in Marston Moretaine in April 2020 during the Covid lockdown 

Sir Tom was made an honorary colonel and was later knighted by the Queen (pictured in 2020) at Windsor Castle

Sir Tom was made an honorary colonel and was later knighted by the Queen (pictured in 2020) at Windsor Castle

Captain Tom became a global icon in 2020 when he walked laps of the garden outside the family’s seven-bedroom mansion in Marston Moretaine in the lead-up to his 100th birthday. His efforts raised  £38million for the NHS.

The Captain Tom Foundation was registered on June 5, 2020 following his fundraising efforts. 

Sir Tom was knighted and honoured with an RAF Flypast before his death in February 2021.

In August that year, the Ingram-Moores applied for the office space, saying the building was ‘urgently required’ for presentations and memorabilia’ related to the foundation.

The L-shaped single-storey building was approved but the subsequent retrospective application for the C-shaped spa complex was refused in summer last year.

It has emerged that angry neighbours lodged formal objections to the ‘ugly’ building and set up a petition, which received around 100 signatures.

The petition lodged objections with Central Bedfordshire Council on the grounds that it wasn’t in keeping with the area, blocked views and intruded on privacy. 

The design and access and heritage statement document states that usage of the building is 'in connection with The Captain Tom Foundation'. The address is redacted in red

The design and access and heritage statement document states that usage of the building is ‘in connection with The Captain Tom Foundation’. The address is redacted in red

This planning document references the retrospective application for the spa complex

This planning document references the retrospective application for the spa complex

One couple, who asked not to be named, said: ‘It’s never been offices or just the L-shaped building they asked for, it’s always been what it is now.’

A neighbour who shares a boundary with the Ingram-Moores, added: ‘I only found out when I saw the foundations being laid and they were much bigger and deeper than any plans that I then saw.

‘The original L-shaped offices were never built. It has only ever been that building that is there now.

‘The building is much closer to the walls and boundary than we ever thought. I can’t see anything going on inside though or people going in and out as there are no windows at all.

‘It’s quite high for a supposed one-storey building. It’s definitely high enough to add in a mezzanine if they wanted to. It would be sneaky but they could.’

One of the complaints stated: ‘I am shocked at the complete lack of consultation by the applicant with the neighbours on the boundary of the development whose residential amenity has all been severely harmed.’ 

It has emerged that angry neighbours lodged formal objections to the ‘ugly’ building and set up a petition, which received around 100 signatures

It has emerged that angry neighbours lodged formal objections to the ‘ugly’ building and set up a petition, which received around 100 signatures

A second local resident added: ‘The building at the Rectory in Marston is ugly, far too large for the site, and really out of character and scale for its location. 

‘How the Council could have approved this building and for it then to be built so much bigger than the approved plans is terrible.’ 

Several others complained the building is ‘spoiling [their] outlook’.

One said: ‘The building is a complete eyesore and spoils the outlook […] I have been told it is much bigger than was planned.

‘Why does it have to be so large and high. All I can see […] now is this large house.’ 

The family are also facing a backlash over the latest revelations about their use of Captain Tom’s name and reputation.

Comments on social media included one that said: ‘He did laps of his garden so she could do laps of her pool.’

Captain Tom's daughter is facing a backlash after she was accused of using her father's name to build an office to her £1.2million home before adding a spa pool extension

Captain Tom’s daughter is facing a backlash after she was accused of using her father’s name to build an office to her £1.2million home before adding a spa pool extension

Mrs Ingram-Moore, who runs business consultancy Maytrix Group Ltd with her husband, claimed in February last year their financial outlook had become bleak during the first lockdown.

The business later received nearly £38,000 from the foundation as reimbursement for help with set-up costs. This payment is not under investigation.

Locals said the Ingram-Moores financial situation looked more settled by last summer.

They claimed a hot tub had been installed and extensive landscaping carried out.

Construction was also well under way for the outbuilding now under scrutiny which, it was reported at the time, was paid for by the family themselves.

No update has emerged since the Charity Commission launched its probe of the foundation. 

At the time of announcing the inquiry, Helen Stephenson, CEO of the Charity Commission, said: ‘The late Captain Sir Tom Moore inspired the nation with his courage, tenacity and concern for others. 

Ms Ingram-Moore on ITV's This Morning show in March 2022

Ms Ingram-Moore on ITV’s This Morning show in March 2022

Sir Tom is pictured with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore in 2020 as he receives knighthood from HRH Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle

Sir Tom is pictured with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore in 2020 as he receives knighthood from HRH Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle

‘It is vital that public trust in charity is protected, and that people continue to feel confident in supporting good causes.

‘We do not take any decision to open an inquiry lightly, but in this case our concerns have mounted. 

‘We consider it in the public interest to examine them through a formal investigation, which gives us access to the full range of our protective and enforcement powers.’

The £38million raised by Sir Tom, and donated to a separate charity, NHS Charities Together, prior to the formation of The Captain Tom Foundation is not part of the scope of the inquiry.

Mr and Mrs Ingram-Moore refused to answer a request to discuss the matter.

Captain Tom Moore’s extraordinary final year

April 6 2020: Captain Tom, aged 99, sets out to walk 100 laps of his garden by his 100th birthday. His target is to raise £1,000 for the NHS.

April 8: He is interviewed on local TV news after daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore sends them a press release.

April 14: Donations to his JustGiving page break the £1 million mark.

April 15: Health Secretary Matt Hancock hails him as an ‘inspiration to us all’ as donations top £10million.

April 16: Captain Tom completes his 100th lap of his garden and vows to keep walking.

April 17: Prince William describes the veteran as an ‘absolute legend’. Donations exceed £20 million.

April 30: A Spitfire flypast marks his  100th birthday. He receives thousands of cards including one from the Queen. His fundraising page closes at midnight having totalled £33million.

July 17: Captain Tom is knighted by the Queen in her first official engagement in person since lockdown lifted, becoming Captain Sir Tom Moore.

September 23: A film company announces it is to give Sir Tom the big screen treatment, following a fierce bidding war.

December 11: After consulting doctors, Sir Tom and his family fly to Barbados after being treated to a holiday by British Airways.

December 25: On Christmas Day Sir Tom tells BBC Breakfast things ‘will get better’ as families spend the holiday alone due to restrictions.

January 1 2021: His figure is formed in lights as part of New Year’s Eve celebrations in London to mark the end of 2020.

January 6: Sir Tom returns to Britain.

January 12: The veteran is admitted to Bedford Hospital and is diagnosed with pneumonia. Between December 9 and January 12 he is regularly tested for Covid-19 and tests negative each time.

January 22: Sir Tom is discharged to his family home so he can feel ‘comfortable’ but tests positive for coronavirus on the same day.

January 31: He is taken back to Bedford Hospital by ambulance for additional treatment for his breathing, after previously receiving care at home from his family and medical professionals.

February 1: His condition deteriorates and daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and grandchildren Benjie and Georgia visit his bedside to say goodbye while his other daughter Lucy Teixeira speaks to him by video call.

February 2: Sir Tom dies aged 100 in Bedford Hospital as his daughters pay tribute to their ‘incredible father’.

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