Jeremy Clarkson appeals decision to close controversial Diddly Squat Farm restaurant



Jeremy Clarkson will challenge his local council's decision to refuse plans for him to build a restaurant on his farm.

Clarkson submitted two appeals against the West Oxfordshire District Council decision and will face a key meeting in March to decide the fate of Diddly Squat Farm.

As shown in his hit Amazon Prime show, the council initially refused plans to extend the shop car park and ordered Jeremy, 62, to cease trading in his restaurant.

Clarkson's farm is located in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty meaning it is subject to tighter planning restrictions.

Officials claim the business "continued to operate outside the planning permissions granted" and that "advice has been ignored".

So the Top Gear star wrote to the council stating he no longer wished to open a restaurant - but has since had a change of heart.

Jeremy Clarkson and Caleb Cooper Clarkson's Farm
The second season of Clarkson's Farm has broken Amazon viewing figures ( Amazon Prime)

After only making a measly £144 profit last year, according to reports, Jeremy needed to diversify and wanted to transform his lambing barn into a restaurant serving his own meat.

However, according to his letter, his efforts were "thwarted by the enforcement notice" and he was forced to sell most of his cows.

The car park idea is reportedly a priority for Jeremy as he does not want to turn Diddly Squat farm into “Disneyland”.

He added: “It is, after all, where I live."

The runaway success of Clarkson’s Farm meant the previously sleepy area of Chipping Norton is now attracting thousands of visitors, causing huge traffic and parking issues.

To solve the problem, Jeremy applied for permission to open a parking area in an adjacent field but it was refused by West Oxfordshire District Council in May 2022 due to concerns over sustainability and the impact on the surrounding countryside.

In the second series of Clarkson's Farm on Amazon Prime Video Clarkson is seen clashing with the council.

He stormed out of a council meeting after several councillors voted against his plans.

Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson was nearly removed from Amazon Prime following the public backlash after his comments about Meghan Markle ( Getty Images)
Jeremy Clarkson
Both ITV and Amazon threatened to axe the presenter from their channels ( Getty Images)

Liam Walker, who is a Conservative member of the Oxfordshire County Council, backs Clarkson and believes it will be a boost to local businesses.

He tweeted: "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."

In a response to someone saying they hoped Clarkson won, he said: "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."

Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson reopened his Diddly Squat Farm Shop earlier this month, but prices have been hiked ( FILE)

At the time, the council said in a statement: “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.”

Clarkson's Farm has broken new records for after it became one of the most watched shows after it was released last week.

The platform revealed 4.3million viewers watched the second season of the farming reality show, making it Amazon's highest rated show since the company began reporting viewing figures in November 2021.

The figures for Clarkson's adventures at Diddly Squat Farm even beat The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power which reached 3.2million viewers when it was released last year. The show was also watched by more viewers than Love Island and the Brit Awards.

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