Clarkson's Farm: Local council defends planning process highlighted by show

The TV star was refused planning permission to expand the car park at his farm shop despite customers parking on roads.

Jeremy Clarkson has documented his farming exploits in Clarkson's Farm.
Jeremy Clarkson's local council has defended its decision to refuse his plans to expand the carpark at his farm shop. (Amazon Prime)

Jeremy Clarkson's local council have defended its decision to refuse him permission to expand the car park at Diddly Squat Farm Shop.

Following an episode of the new series of Amazon Prime show Clarkson's Farm featuring the planning battles the former Top Gear presenter has been embroiled in, Oxford County Council have published a lengthy statement explaining why they refused his car park plans and shut down his on-site restaurant.

OCC 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."

Read more: Jeremy Clarkson: Local council intervene as farm shop reopening sparks queues

Jeremy Clarkson at the Diddly Squat Farm Shop
Jeremy Clarkson was treated the same as any other planning applicant, says Oxfordshire County Council. (SWNS)

The council insisted Clarkson was treated no differently to any other planning applicant.

The statement said: "As with any other planning authority, we have a legal responsibility to make sure that planning laws and policies are followed correctly by everyone... This is regardless of who they are and we treat Diddly Squat Farm no differently.

“Behind the scenes we have worked with the owners and planning agents of Diddly Squat Farm over the past two years to try and reach a positive outcome where the business can operate within the planning laws."

The council said the damage to the environment outweighed the benefits of the shop to the local community.

It said: “Most cases have their pros and cons as was obvious with the decisions for Diddly Squat Farm in Clarkson’s Farm. Indeed the council recognised the benefits in the proposal to local farmers and the economy but the proposals did not meet other planning requirements.

“Diddly Squat Farm is in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which means it has to follow much tighter national planning laws."

Watch: Jeremy Clarkson pranked by Ant and Dec in farm protest

The council said it is working with the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host to find an alternative site for the carpark, which was "one of multiple conversations we had to try and support the farm."

It said: "In a recent meeting with Mr Clarkson we discussed the possibility of Diddly Squat Farm making an application for temporary planning permission for a car park in an alternative location which we felt might have been supported by the council."

It also pointed out that Clarkson breached planning regulations to open his restaurant so they were forced to close down the facility as a "last resort".

It said: "Diddly Squat Farm operated for a large part of 2021 and 2022 outside the planning permissions granted.

Customers queue to get into Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm Shop near Chadlington in Oxfordshire during the opening weekend of the shop following its winter closure. Picture date: Saturday February 11, 2023.
Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm Shop is popular with fans of Clarkson's Farm and attracts long queues. (PA)

“The council gave advice to try and solve the issues in a constructive way but unfortunately, this advice was not followed. We were left with no alternative but to enforce the breaches in planning law."

Diddly Squat Farm Shop recently reopened, coinciding with the launch of the new series of Clarkson's Farm on TV. As a result the car park became full shoppers began leaving their cars on the verges of the approaching country roads.

This was despite the council issuing a warning about parking safely.

In September 2021 The Grand Tour star served cheese and wine at a meeting he held for his neighbours at the village hall to discuss his plans for a farm restaurant and to assure them he would do everything he could to improve parking at the site.

Jeremy Clarkson attends the Hawkstone lager launch on November 25, 2021 in Bourton-on-the-Water, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hawkstone)
Jeremy Clarkson has documented his farming exploits for Amazon Prime show Clarkson's Farm. (Getty Images)

He revealed at the time that the popularity of the shop had let to visitors urinating in his drive way.

Amazon Prime was rumoured to have severed tries with Clarkson following comments he made about Meghan Markle in his newspaper column.

Read more: Jeremy Clarkson says he's 'still hated' by some in 'divided' Cotswold village

A third series of Clarkson's Farm was commissioned last year and Clarkson told fans of the new season two on Twitter: "It isn’t the last series. Don’t worry."