A GRADE II listed building owned by the council is set to be turned into housing as key family services become more centralised.

Lime House, located in Upper Stratton, is currently home to the youth offending team, which from October will move over to Clarence House as part of a family contact point.

The shift was agreed last year but the move is to start next month. To help fund the move, Lime House, and Palm Tree Lodge to the rear, will be sold.

A company has been asked to draw up a brief on how best to market the site to potential buyers.

Local ward councillors and the parish council have been consulted on the brief and there will be a public consultation.

A council spokesman said: “To maximise the disposal value of The Limes and Palm Tree Lodge and to ensure that a high quality residential development is achieved that respects The Limes, a Grade II listed building, and the surrounding environment, the head of property assets appointed a planning consultant to prepare a development brief.

“The vision for the site is to deliver up to five new dwellings. It is envisaged that The Limes is converted to a single residential unit with up to four new dwellings built on land to the rear with access from Green Road.

“The brief sets out a development concept for how the site could satisfactorily function and sets out the criteria for how the buildings could be designed and arranged, based on the council’s standards to best ensure they respond positively to the surrounding area and contribute to a high quality of development.”

The decision to create the ‘family contact point’ was made last year to bring services together so officers can make decisions more quickly and provide earlier support, reducing delay, mitigating risk and diverting children on the edge of care.

The youth offending team based at Lime House will complete their move by early next year. A report into the move last year said of the Clarence House move: “It will provide a resource where young people can find a safe haven and avoid young people being detained in custody overnight when waiting to appear in court.”