Council chiefs have been accused of turning an archaeologically important Iron Age hill fort into an "eyesore" by putting fibre-glass steps on it.
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The 80-feet-high Castle Hill at Thetford, Norfolk, is believed to be one of the tallest and steepest Iron Age fort sites in the UK. But now the ancient site features a newly-constructed £65,000 steel staircase to its mount.
Thetford Council says it was installed to prevent erosion to the landmark caused by visitors climbing to its peak.
Matthew Spencer, a retail worker who lives in the area, told the Daily Telegraph: "It couldn't be worse to be honest. It's an eyesore. I think steps could be a good idea for access but how they've done it is terrible.
"The material looks horrible. They should have used something more natural. I think they've ruined how it looks. It's ugly and overly modern - just not a good look."
Another local branded the installation "archaeological sacrilege".
Meanwhile, a poll of 726 people by the Eastern Daily Press found that 68 per cent of residents thought the new steps were ugly and just 14 per cent believed they were a good idea.
A spokesman for Thetford Town Council told the newspaper: "The poll from the newspaper was a positive move to gain resident opinions.
"The council would encourage people to contact them directly with their comments and suggestions.