THE owners of Hill House say they have “a range of options” planned to tackle congestion at the site when it reopens to the public later this spring.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) was responding to concerns raised by Helensburgh Community Council (HCC) and on social media over the number of vehicles in the area at present while a 60-foot steel cage – known as “the Box” – is constructed around the historic building.

Congestion in the area is being heightened by construction vehicles being used to supply a building project at Morar House, on the other side of Upper Colquhoun Street, where new homes are being built in the grounds and the house is itself being refurbished.

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In addition to the large volume of traffic on Upper Colquhoun Street and Kennedy Drive, members of the public have highlighted damage to the grass verge outside Hill House caused by heavy vehicles parking and passing on the narrow street.

HCC treasurer Stewart Noble, speaking at the organisation’s latest monthly meeting, said that while the situation would ease once construction of the Box is complete, there would be an anticipated increase in visitor numbers once Hill House reopens.

Mr Noble said: “Half of the Hill House car park is closed and a lot of vehicles are parked there, on Upper Colquhoun Street, and a lot more on Kennedy Drive.

“At Morar House, from the outside the house looks more or less finished but ground-work has now started on the houses in the grounds.

“Any visitor coming to the Hill House is going to have a struggle finding parking spaces for quite a while.

“It could be that once they’ve finished building the Box and the new visitor centre, the pressure on parking space will ease to some extent. Once the Box is finished it shouldn’t be quite so bad, but it’s very busy there just now.”

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HCC member Nigel Millar said: “The construction boys want to get as close as possible to the buildings.

“If past practice is anything to go by, the number of visitors could go up by 400 per cent once the Hill House reopens.”

An NTS spokesperson said: “We are really very grateful to the community for their patience while this pioneering project is under way.

“The team have plans for a range of options to ensure that everyone will be able to travel to the property easily and safely, including offering more parking options, public transport tie-ins and transfer links to and from the local railway station.

“We will also ensure that any damage to the surrounding grass areas is restored by our contractor team that is based at Hill House.”