IT’S a mystery that even the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself might not have been able to solve were he still with us – where exactly will Sherlock Holmes end up?

Not the fictional character, you will understand – Conan Doyle had him retire to become a beekeeper in Sussex, only for Holmes and Dr Watson return to do a small service for their country in the First World War.

No, this Holmes is the life-size bronze statue of the legendary detective, complete with Inverness cape, deerstalker hat and pipe, that stands in Picardy Place at the top end of Leith Walk in Edinburgh, opposite the birthplace of Conan Doyle, who was born at No 11 in 1859.

The issue for Holmes in statue form is far from elementary. As part of the fundamental restructuring of the St James area and the possible extension of the tram network down Leith Walk, Picardy Place is to be remodelled, creating a genuine dilemma for Edinburgh City Council.

What are they to do with the Holmes statue and the considerably more expensive and very much heavier sculptures by Leith’s own Eduardo Paolozzi which are just across the roundabout from Holmes?

In a bid to solve the conundrum, the master detectives that are the general public are being invited to view and comment on proposals for the future layout of Picardy Place and the surrounding area.

Two events are set to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday next week where people can submit opinions on designs and hear from the council on how plans have evolved since their inception.

Participants will be shown refinements already made to proposals based on feedback from a series of public events that were held in September, including increased provision for pedestrians and cyclists.

Views will also be sought on the piece of land at the top of Leith Walk, where the roundabout currently sits. Feedback will be used to inform the final designs, which are expected to be discussed by the transport and environment committee at the beginning of next year.

The council stated: “Designs aim to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists while facilitating public transport, in addition to future proofing the area for extending the tram to Newhaven, if approved next year.

“Alongside the period of engagement, contractors are scheduled to begin enabling works in November, including the removal of the Paolozzi sculptures and Sherlock Holmes statue. However, this will not include any work on the construction of the layout currently under discussion.”

The Holmes statue has already suffered the indignity of being removed and replaced during the original tram works in 2009 – a time capsule inside it was also put back.

It was also at the centre of a controversy back in 1991 when it was erected, for, as plenty of people pointed out at the time, the statue was not of Conan Doyle but his most famous creation.

Holmes was supposed to be based on another Edinburgh figure, the surgeon Joseph Bell, who taught Conan Doyle during his studies to become a doctor, but there is no statue of either.

Transport and environment convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “It is essential that we strike the right balance at this key junction, which is central to the regeneration of Edinburgh’s east end. We’ve received a good deal of useful feedback on proposals which has already informed some changes to designs, but we’re keen to hear more from the public.

“Comments and ideas gathered will help us to create a final design for Picardy Place that best meets the needs of all road users, benefiting pedestrians and cyclists while enabling the smooth flow of public transport and other traffic to and from the city.”

The public information events will take place on Tuesday from 10am to 7pm at the City Art Centre and next Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm at Bellevue Church.