Channel 4’s Great British Home Restoration crew filming at Ramsgate property conversion

The former nursery has undergone a transformation

A Channel 4 crew is in Ramsgate today (August 10) filming for series the Great British Home Restoration.

The team is featuring a conversion of the former Stay n Play Nursery in Southwood Road.

Couple Marc and  Paula Turnier took on the site and have renovated the main building into five holiday let flats.

They are now converting the rear workshop into a one-bed home and this is the part of the project Channel 4 is featuring in the series.

Marc and Paula, who are both architects, live part-time in Kensington and part-time in Ramsgate.

Marc, 32, said: “We have converted a former dilapidated nursery into five flats for holiday lets and restored the property back to its Victorian villa heritage.

“Channel 4 is now filming our conversion of the workshop at the rear. The redesign has received lots of positive comments from the council in regards to the quality of the restoration.

“My background is in property and I’m interested in renovating and restoring old buildings. The former nursery was dilapidated and empty for years.

“Now the five units are in the main building and we are converting the workshop at the back into a house but have kept the industrial, commercial feel to it.

“Channel 4 emailed after they saw the application on the planning portal, which we were not expecting.”

Marc, who moved from Leeds to London when he started his career, says he was attracted to Ramsgate because of holidays in the area as a child and due to the town’s potential.

He said: “I visited Ramsgate as a kid and then just saw the opportunity. Thanet has so many historic buildings, especially Ramsgate, and is really beautiful.”

Great British Home Restoration features couples and families who transform unusual and historic buildings – that weren’t built to be lived in – into their dream home.

The crew will chart part of the project while filming at Faversham Villa today and then return in September to shoot the completed renovation. The show is presented by architectural designer Charlie Luxton.

Marc said: “There will be a quirky finish, expect concrete floors but with a nice home feel to it.”


  1. Can’t beat a silver spooned lad from Kensington profiteering down in Thanet and getting in the TV show he can show all his chums!

          • Aren’t there? There is a tipping point where too many holiday lets diminish the availability of rentals, pushing up pricing and pushing renters out of the area. Local businesses then can’t find staff because they can’t afford to live in the area.

            It is already happening because I have seen complaints on social media about a shortage of rentals in Thanet (and plenty of examples where it is hitting other coastal areas too).

            There is a solution for a shortage of holiday rentals and it has existed for over a hundred years, they’re called hotels.

  2. I suppose many people in Thanet would prefer to see and live in dilapidated buildings and moan about that.There are too many builfings like this.Im all for improving living conditions and the look of my town.Nothing stopping locals doing the same thing but you have to work.Thats the problem for many people.

    • What’s need is property for *locals to own* not more assets for people to become wealthier from, off of the labour of others.

      • These would be the labours of others that the new owners/developers are paying for on the open market? So trades can set their own rates and hours? This is the 21st Century not the 18th. The new owners have made a considerable investment and if the article is to believed are doing the works to a standard well beyond the thanet norm. Could this not be seen as a someone taking a chance by investing in an area that needs all the help it can get?

        • I doubt the new owners have made any investment, probably the banks who they have been fortunate enough to obtain finance from, will have made the investment.

          The developer is just a middle wo(man) who has organised finance, architect and trades and then sits back on rental income.

          This is not work it is rentierism.

          Meanwhile, those who are not in a fortunate enough position to be able to obtain finance are left behind.

          It is driving inequality because these opportunities are not available equally and it is foolish to think this is just a normal bit of markets working *during a housing crisis*.

          What is needed is for locals to be able to help themselves, not have outsiders come in like some kind of saviour that they should be grateful for, whilst actually taking potential residential space out of the market.

          • Of course their time is worthless, they must have put up a deposit and they are taking the risk that it won’t be worth more than they put in, but other than this of course it’s just evil people making a profit on the back of the poor. Utter tripe.
            With an outlook like yours nothing would ever be achieved.

          • LC, you have not addressed my fundamental points about how this kind of thing is driving inequality.

            Housing is a special case being a corner stone of a civilised society. Yet some people just wave their arms and bat off genuine concerns.

            If you want social cohesion and opportunity for all, this is important, it’s not just another bit of free market opportunity (unless you are luckly enough to be on the right end of it).

          • Rentierism is a realised business opportunity like any other business opportunity. You complain about there not being enough places to rent yet for all you decry rentierism. To raise my first deposit in order to own, I did 2 full time jobs, one in the day and then off to the evening one with a few hours sleep in between for 3 years doing every bit of very time I could. People make sacrifices to realise their ambition and claw themselves out of holes. Loans + interest have to be paid back, risk is involved if things don’t go according to plan which most of the time they don’t your neck is on the line. So please stop putting these ambitious people down, get up and do something for yourself instead of moaning and putting out your hand. It’s the way of the world nothing new is happening in Thanet that hasn’t happened elsewhere in the world since time began. Beautiful houses in Thanet have been standing derelict and in squalor for decades. There was opportunity for those in Thanet to leave to educate and better themselves and return to do something for their community but did they? hmmm very little evidence of that ….

  3. They will need an on site manager for the holiday lets, if my experience living long term in Spain every winter for 8 winters, is anything to go by!

  4. Looks like a great conversion.

    But five holiday flats and one home? That’s not the right ratio during a housing crisis.

  5. Looks like a great conversion.

    But 5 holiday lets and one home (yep, probably for manager) is not a good ratio during a housing crisis.

  6. I think they have done a great job ! another unloved property now the best in the street.
    Holiday let’s are tax efficient, very tax efficient compared to buy to let and not having irresponsible tenants is a joy to behold.

  7. Paul bet you are not a local!!
    I walk past this building virtually every day and the transformation is amazing it is great to see this investment locally, I might not agree 100% that holiday lets are best for this building but I am not the investor!

    • Why do you bet that I am not local? I’m in Westgate.

      I’m sure the building looks lovely and makes the area more attractive.. great for existing home owners.

      Local investment has become a phrase slung around.. is it local investment if the owner does not live in Thanet. Who benefits..

  8. It always amuses me how people have such virtuous ideas on how someone else should spend their own money. I see no reason why a private individual should be in the firing line for not doing the Council’s job for them and providing houses for others. If the self-same Council stopped wasting public funds, perhaps they could bring back disused buildings into the housing stock and build more public housing. Incidentally, I lived on that street for years and the nursery was an absolute eyesore. This is a lovely sympathetic restoration, a 100% better than what was there. It’s uplifting to see people believing in the possibilities of Thanet and putting their money where their mouths are. Or, would the moaning minnies on here prefer to pull up the drawbridge and leave the area to contnue its slide into rack and ruin, as was the case before the advent of the much-maligned DFLs (and other blow-ins). It seems to me if you do you’re damned and if you don’t you’re damned.

  9. Amazing transformation! I live around the corner of the building and I can say it’s been a long time coming. Knowing the condition beforehand, I’d say they’ve had to spend a lot of money on this. It’s brilliant for the area, I don’t know what people are complaining about.

    I personally say hats off to the architect/designer for a sympathetic restoration of a disused commercial building in Ramsgate.

  10. Ramsgate to go like Broadstairs now? DFL holiday homes/Holiday lets – Any chance of some homes for locals? or do they all have to move out as they have in the Broadstairs take-over?

  11. Its not someone from London responsibility to build houses for people in Thanet but at least local builders,electricians,plumbers,plasterers, decorators,carpenters,planners, council employees etc have had work out of this project.Stop being small minded some people of Ramsgate.

  12. Well said David, I am so sick of local jealousy being masked as concern for the areas you’ve watched go o rack and ruin. Enterprise and opportunity is all around this area and you locals have sat and watched your towns and surroundings decline. Now you want private enterprising people to hand you a house. Go educate yourself, and broaden your small Planet Thanet minds and try do something for yourself instead of holding out your hands and moaning about DFLs. We have gambled restored and rejuvenated your declining towns. That’s life. Get on board or sit down… More DFLs this way please

    • I don’t think I gambled very much by selling my house in London to live mortgage free in Thanet tbh Sally. Nothing particularly enterprising about my old house making more money than I earned in my job. There is a serious problem in Thanet with property prices being out of reach to rent or buy for many people who work locally and who have not had the benefit of the rising London property market. Fatuous remarks about ‘getting on board or sitting down’ are at best insensitive and at worst, deeply ignorant.

  13. But Wendy, the Ramsgate locals complain of being pushed out and not being able to afford a property, as if that was a problem in Thanet alone. Gentrification is an issue worldwide. Why is it OK to have stuff on telly like ‘A place in the sun’ but DFLs are shot down as soon as they bother to bring back the beauty of the place?

    Do the Ramsgate lot really expect jobs and houses just gor them and them only? Enough with the pity

  14. Good luck too them, they have spend or borrowed a lot of money on this project, and it is a gamble, but they had the courage and vision to pursue their dream.
    I bet a lot of people on here would have done the same if they had the same opportunity, instead of moaning like green eyed monsters.
    Get a grip you jealous individuals


      This opportunity is only available to a subset of people, those lucky enough to already be wealthy or have access to finance.

      And aside from a few businesses who will reap one off rewards, architects, trades (none of which are guaranteed to be Thanet based anyway!) the opportunity is for the owner to sit back and live off rental income – the hard work of other people.

      The trend is that this often happens with money coming from people outside Thanet, I wonder why?

      And Thanetians are supposed to sit back and be grateful for their generosity.

      Jealousy? Well yes I am jealous the the spoils of the property boom are not shared more equally amongst society.

      And people wonder why excessive inequality in this country is accelerating..

      • The opportunity is there for everyone. The secret is to get up from off your behind and work, instead of bleating about what other people have. Some of us have worked damned hard, made sacrifices and made good, often tough decisions, to achieve our goals. It’s not for the rest of society to fund your aspirations. Give up the Thanetian victim mentality. Stop griping and get grafting!

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