ANYONE wanting to snap-up a former toilet block in Witney will need to spend more than a penny.

The one-time public convenience, which has been transformed into a glamorous home by a local architect, is on the market for a cool half-a-million.

Jon Du Croz and partner Emma Lally bought the building in 2005 and spent four years designing, extending and restoring it.

When the couple took on the disused 1930s lavatory block, it was owned by West Oxfordshire District Council.

An added complication was it housed a fully-working electrical sub-station.

So, although it cost them just £37,000, they had to stump up an extra £75,000 to pay for the electricity board to take out the sub-station and rebuild it 10-15 metres away.

They also shelled out another £155,000 to turn the old building into a three-bedroom family home – adding up to a total spend of £260,000.

Mr Du Croz, who runs his own architecture practice based in Witney, said: “I knew it was all doable and wasn’t a crazy thing to embark on but we struggled at times.

“It was tricky because underneath all the pavements there are hundreds of cables that go into that sub-station so it was logistically a big headache for them to unpick it all and then reconnect it up.”

The couple extended the building, now renamed Windy Corner, at the front to add one extra room on the ground floor and two on the first.

They left the original front wall of the toilet block in place as an interior feature and it still bears the lettering ‘Witney UDC’, which stands for Urban District Council.

They also hung onto the cast-iron ‘Ladies’ and ‘Gentlemen’ signs which were once displayed outside the male and female entrances.

Mr Du Croz said his wife was keen to preserve the original urinals as water features in the garden.

But he explained: “Sadly, that was not possible because they were concreted in and had to be smashed out.”

“Although, I feel when in your garden, there is only one thing people are going to do with them.”

Other character features of the 1,300-square-feet property include stone mullioned windows and exposed brickwork.

An open-plan style living/dining room and kitchen has doors to the garden and there is a sitting room with wood-burning stove.

Upstairs is a master bedroom with ensuite plus two more bedrooms and a bathroom.

Other highlights include underfloor heating, courtyard gardens and off-road parking.

The property featured in Real Homes magazine in 2012 and in The Sunday Telegraph and Independent newspapers in 2011.

The couple, who have two daughters aged seven and four, hope to take on another project – this time renovating an old farm building.

Mr Du Croz explained: “For the first eight years of living here, we swore never again but we are now tentatively looking at a cowshed.”

He added: “We will be sad to leave, especially as it’s the house where we had our children but are ready for a change and another challenge, amazingly.”

Windy Corner is on the market at £500,000 through agents Breckon & Breckon on 01993 776775, or see