A crane has been used to lift out a spa pool from the home of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter as part of demolition work on the building that did not have planning permission.
Neighbours said the building – put up after his death – had been an eyesore and had made the village a laughing stock.
Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband, Colin, lost their appeal against an order to remove the Captain Tom Foundation building in the grounds of their property after a hearing in October. A planning inspector ruled it was at odds with their Grade ll-listed home.
The couple were given a deadline of 8 February to have it pulled down and return the land at The Old Rectory to how it was before they built the extension.
The tub was lifted up through the gap on Friday after the roof had been removed.
Villager Ian Knight said residents would be pleased the building was going.
“It’s an absolute eyesore – it looks like a prison. People here started to get the hump,” he said, but villagers were initially too respectful of Captain Tom to speak out.
When the spa was put up, he wondered how they had been given permission for it – until it transpired they had not.
Mr Knight, a labourer, estimated the demolition would take at least a week, and maybe two.
He said the spa, erected next to the oldest building in the village, had been disgusting and a laughing stock because it was out of keeping with its surroundings.
“Everyone loved Captain Tom and this became a distraction from his fundraising,” he said.
Mr Knight said his aunt’s house was the closest home to Ingram-Moores’ garden, and she did not like it.
War veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore became a national hero almost overnight when he raised £38m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. He died from the virus in February the following year.
His daughter, Ms Ingram-Moore, defended the pool and spa building in the grounds of the family home, saying it was intended to be part of his legacy, but later said they had made the wrong decision over the extension.
The couple had been given permission for a Captain Tom Foundation building on disused tennis courts.
The Captain Tom Foundation, which received more than £1m in donations in its first year after opening in 2020, hit headlines when it emerged it had spent more on management fees than it had released in grants.
Central Bedfordshire Council, which is due to visit the site on 8 February, deadline day, said it was not putting any funding towards the work.