Diddly Squat Farm: Jeremy Clarkson appeals decision to close restaurant after complaints from locals
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Jeremy Clarkson has appealed his local council’s decision to close his Diddly Squat Farm restaurant. The Clarkson’s Farm presenter had been forced to cease all business at his restaurant after guests swarmed the area, causing long queues and disruption for locals.
The former Top Gear presenter has submitted two appeals to the West Oxfordshire District Council against their decision and will attend a key meeting in March. The council had previously refused Clarkson, 62, to extend his Diddly Squat Farm shop car park and to close his restaurant.
The farm, which is the main setting of the popular Amazon Prime Video series Clarkson’s Farm, is subject to harder planning restrictions due to its location in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The council said Clarkson had "continued to operate outside the planning permissions granted" and that the presenter had ignored advice given.
At the time, Jeremy Clarkson wrote about the decision, he “no longer wish to open a restaurant” and claimed he had been “thwarted by the enforcement notice”. But it seems the Grand Tour presenter has had a change of heart.
Liam Walker, a Conservative member of the Oxfordshire County Council, tweeted in support of Clarkson’s appeal, saying: "All is not over yet… @JeremyClarkson has lodged an appeal against West Oxfordshire District Council for both farm shop car park extension & the enforcement notice for opening a restaurant without planning. The planning inspector will conduct the hearing in March."
Asked if he hoped Clarkson would get his way, Walker replied: "100%! Local councils need to understand and appreciate farming has significantly changed for many reasons and the planning rules need to also change to allow them to diversify quickly. Farmers right across the country deserve our support."
Prime Video’s Clarkson’s Farm proved a massive success upon its original release, and with that success came a wave of visitors to the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire presenter’s Cotswolds farm, which caused friction with the locals.
When the council decided the restaurant should close, one local said: “It is a win for the community. I would like the whole thing shut down. We are just a small village and Diddly Squat Farm is in the wrong place.
“We don’t need a theme park in an area of natural beauty. The new year was ridiculous. You’d spend about 20 minutes trying to get into town.”
Commenting on the appeal, the local West Oxfordshire District said: “We understand that the planning process shown in season two of Clarkson’s Farm can seem obstructive and that people will be confused by the planning decisions at Diddly Squat Farm.
“As with any other planning authority, we have a legal responsibility to make sure that planning laws and policies are followed correctly by everyone to manage development and protect local communities and the environment. This is regardless of who they are and we treat Diddly Squat Farm no differently.”
Season 2 of Clarkson’s Farm is available now on Amazon Prime. You can sign up to watch all of the episodes here.
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