The demolition of an unauthorised spa pool block at the home of the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore was finally completed on Wednesday afternoon.
Exercise equipment and memorabilia possibly linked to Captain Sir Tom Moore’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year award were removed from the property.
Since then heavy duty machinery, including diggers and a crane, have been in operation at the site to tear down the building after a council enforcement over the unauthorised development.
Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband, Colin, lost an appeal against the order to remove the 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.
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.
The 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”.
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 development was proposed in the name of The Captain Tom Foundation, which 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.
“We have to accept that we made a decision, and it was probably the wrong one,” she said.
It also transpired that Mrs Ingram-Moore last year admitted keeping £800,000 from three books the late army veteran had written, despite the prologue of one of them suggesting the money would go to charity.
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.
He was knighted by the late Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in the summer of that year.
Additional reporting by PA