Turnstone, by John Maiden, February 23

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For the first time in more than six years, a discerning Lynn News reader has picked up on the similarity between this column and “Mein Kampf”.

It really is quite amazing that no one else seems to have made the connection between Adolf Hitler’s struggle for world domination and my ongoing struggle against autocratic leadership in local government.

It is true there is no evidence to suggest that any of my critics are in imminent danger of being beaten up by thugs acting on my instructions; much less that I would be prepared to cause the deaths of millions of innocent men, women and children in order to achieve my goals. However, once the comparison has been made between literary styles, one cannot blame my most vehement critic for asking the Lynn News to rid the paper of such a tedious columnist.

Until this happens, or Turnstone falls off his perch, let me say that last Tuesday’s paper provided several examples of a systemic failure of local authorities to take account of local public opinion. An anonymous letter drew attention to inadequate consultation in respect of the proposed development at Knights Hill, which could have serious implications for motorists using the A149 to reach the coast. This followed hard on the heels of a front page story alerting readers to the likely outcome if planning permission is granted for a new multi-million pound supermarket close to the Norfolk Lavender crossroads at Heacham.

The initial response of the county council highway authority to this application by Lidl was to insist on the provision of a roundabout at the entrance to the site, similar to the one scheduled to replace the existing junction between Hunstanton Road and the A149 at the foot of Redgate Hill. The irony here is that the original stance taken by the highway authority was to reject any form of vehicular access to the proposed Hopkins Homes development from Hunstanton Road or the A149 at Heacham.

In subsequent correspondence with me, highway engineer Liz Poole performed a U-turn by suggesting that having to give way to Hopkins traffic at a T-junction, before joining the inevitable queue at the A149 roundabout, would enhance my driving experience! After nearly sixty years of driving on the county’s roads, I firmly believe the proposed changes to the road layout at both ends of Heacham will enhance my driving experience about as much as the ridiculous slip road for north-bound traffic at QEII hospital roundabout.

To add insult to injury, Liz Poole admits that the proposed changes at Heacham will have an adverse impact on traffic flow in the summer months, but this would not be an appropriate reason to recommend objection to the application. This leaves me wondering just how severe the impact on traffic flow has to be before commonsense kicks in and someone somewhere says a firm ‘no’ to further traffic disruption caused by misplaced new development.

In case my arch critic is tempted to make another comparison between Turnstone and Mein Kampf, I am not advocating an autobahn from the Midlands to Hunstanton! To distance myself even further from Mr Hitler, let me make it abundantly clear that I am opposed to concentration camps for human beings just as much as I am for farm animals, including poultry...