High Court battle over Conan Doyle's former home

Undershaw Conan Doyle designed and lived in the property with his wife and entertained many writers there

Related Stories

A High Court battle over the former home of Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has begun.

Campaigners are opposing plans to part-demolish Undershaw in Hindhead, Surrey, and turn it into housing.

The Undershaw Preservation Trust wants Waverley council's planning permission for the development to be overturned.

Campaign lawyers said there were more than 1,300 objections to the development. The council said it was confident its decision was correct.

Grade II listed Undershaw, built in 1897, was where Conan Doyle wrote the Hound of the Baskervilles and The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

'Opinions ignored'

The author designed and lived in the property with his wife and entertained many writers there, including JM Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, and Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula.

John Gibson, founder of the Undershaw Preservation Trust, said campaigners wanted the building to be restored and had "many dreams" for the property, including that it could become a museum or literary centre.

Andrew Lockley, head of public law at Irwin Mitchell, solicitors for the campaigners, said the council had ignored public opinion and made basic errors.

He said: "It has agreed to a plan which involves the partial demolition, alteration, conversion and extension of the building instead of a considered restoration."

Matthew Evans, Waverley's head of planning, said: "Waverley is confident the High Court will confirm the decision to grant permission was correct.

"The planning consent allows for the conversion of the original house into three houses and the replacement of the 1920s hotel wing with a new wing of five town houses and to retain the stable cottage."

He added: "If Undershaw was to be bought by campaigners or another purchaser with a view to an alternative use for the building and promoting it to tourists, we would be happy to discuss the proposals with them."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Surrey



Min. Night 15 °C


  • Nigel Farage (left) and Douglas CarswellWho's next?

    The Tory MPs being tipped to follow Carswell to UKIP

  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814

  • President Barack Obama pauses during a press conference on 28 August.'No strategy'

    Obama's gaffe on Islamic State reveals political truth

  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea

  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.