NOW it’s a relatively humble office used by Swindon Borough Council at the moment.

But The Limes, at 21 Green Road in Stratton St Margaret is a throwback to when the urban neighbourhood was actually a country hamlet – it dates to the 18th century and is Grade II-listed.

And if you’ve got upwards of £350,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you could buy it, and turn it back into a family home – its original use. But only if you follow the council’s guide.

The council wants to sell the building to a developer for reconversion back into a house, and has come up with a design guide.

It says: “Stratton started off as a small village with a church dating from the 13th century.

“There is a mix of building types – early vernacular through to Victorian stone cottages, 1930s semi-detached housing and some recent development using red brick.”

Attached to the side and the back of the original building as a modern extension known as Palm Tree Court.

That building is for sale as part of the package, but there will not be the same conditions on it.

The conversion guide says of The Limes: “It has been altered but does retain some characteristic features, for example natural stone tile roofing, remnants of its original plan form, fireplace and elements of former window panelling.

“The building is suited for conversion to a single residence. The enhancement of the building, for example by the removal of the uncharacteristic later extensions would be viewed favourably and encouraged.

“Rubble stone walls that make up the site’s boundary should be retained and enhanced as they are part of the listed building.

“The lawn area and courtyard are also part of the setting and should be respected.”

Neighbours weren’t overly enthused by the idea.

Maureen Rowe, who lives at the back of the site said: “Not again. They wanted to do this two or three years ago, and they wanted to build houses behind it and they didn’t tell us.

“I don’t really mind the extension, it doesn’t really bother us.”

Marcel Buckley lives opposite the building: “It will probably make the council a fair bit of money. It’s quite a big building.

“The modern addition isn’t the best, but it’s been there so long it’s part of the landscape now. I don’t mind if it stays.”

A spokesman for the borough councilsaid the authority was hoping to receive ‘best bids’ from purchasers and didn’t want to reveal what it hoped to make.

While estate agents said it was too difficult to estimate what it could be bought for, and then sold for when converted, property website Zoopla estimates its worth at £421,000, with a lower range of £358,000 and an upper range of £484,000.