AN iconic 132-year-old mansion house with one of the most prestigious addresses in Inverclyde is to be turned into luxury flats, the Tele understands.

The Grade B-listed building at 1 Ardgowan Square was recently sold by local estate agents McClure and is set to be returned to its original use as a residential property.

It was snapped up at the end of April and work has been taking place to strip back the inside in preparation for restoration.

The Mansion House was designed for Sir Michael Robert Shaw Stewart by one of Scotland's foremost Victorian architects, Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, and built around 1886.

It was latterly used for offices and occupied by several local businesses, including law firm Sweeney & Co.

But a source told the Tele that the new owners want to revert back to its original purpose.

According to the sales brochure produced by the estate agents, Inverclyde planning officials are keen on the idea.

It says: "The Mansion House is possibly Inverclyde's most prestigious address, occupying an imposing corner site overlooking the tree-lined grounds of the local tennis and bowling clubs in the desirable west end of the town.

"Built circa 1886, the historical and architectural significance of this magnificent Grade B-listed building today provide a superb and quite unique development opportunity with the potential for the creation of luxury dwelling houses, superior office accommodation or a combination of both.

"Inverclyde Council planning has already confirmed that it will support the principle of The Mansion House, and also the adjacent stables, being converted."

Plans have already been drawn up to create up to seven flats with 15 parking spaces in the cobbled rear courtyard, accessed from Patrick Street.

The proposals also include the conversion of the stables at the rear of the building into a two-bedroom detached house.

According to the plans, the seven apartments would consist of a single one-bed flat, a pair with two bedrooms and four three-bed properties.

All proposals are subject to formal planning consent from the council.