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Fresh plan for Conan Doyle's home

4 May 09 11:48 GMT

Calls to turn the Grade II-listed former Surrey home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle into a visitor centre have come from conservation workers.

The Surrey Hills Society said Undershaw had twin attractions - its Conan Doyle heritage and the nearby landscape of Gibbet Hill and the Devil's Punch Bowl.

Conan Doyle wrote his most famous novel, the Hound of the Baskervilles, at Undershaw, it is thought.

In 2007, Waverley Council boarded it up while talks continued about its future.

Surrey Hills Society said there had been numerous requests over the years for residential planning permission but there were also widespread fears this would destroy the house as Conan Doyle built it.

It said the latest campaign for a visitor centre - put forward by a group of councils and conservation bodies - could develop the area for both fans of Sherlock Holmes and the Surrey Hills landscape.

Two years ago, an urgent works notice was served on the property, leading Waverley Council to send in workmen to put up scaffolding to support the roof and board up all accessible windows.

The repairs were welcomed by The Victorian Society which wanted Undershaw to be given Grade I-listed status.

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