Jeremy Clarkson suffers another defeat in Diddly Squat Farm expansion plans
Jeremy Clarkson has faced his second parish council setback as he attempts to expand his Diddly Squat Farm Shop which appears on his hit TV show Clarkson’s Farm
Jeremy Clarkson has faced another blow for his plans to expand his Diddly Squat Farm Shop where he films his Amazon Prime Video show Clarkson’s Farm.
The former Top Gear presenter has had his latest plan to extend his store’s car park from ten to 70 spaces turned down by councilors on the grounds that it would have a ‘visually intrusive and detrimental impact’ on the surrounding countryside.
Clarkson, 62, received around 30 comments of objection from nearby neighbors who feared the extension would lead to traffic chaos around the Oxford village of Chadlington.
Despite the objection of several of his neighbours, an equal number backed the Grand Tour presenter’s candidacy before it was turned down on Friday May 6.
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Council development manager Abbey Fettes explained the refusal decision, she said: “Due to its location, size and design, the proposed development would not be sustainable and would not be compatible or consistent in terms of scale with existing agricultural activity or its open countryside location.
“[It] would have an intrusive and detrimental visual impact on the rural character, scenic beauty and tranquility of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Wychwood Project area. »
Clarkson’s setback is the second request he has been turned down by council this year, he had also planned to convert his lambing shed into a cafe with parking spaces but that too was turned down in January.
Clarkson’s hit Amazon Prime TV show, which first aired last June, saw the location of his Diddly Squat farmhouse become a popular spot and the presenter pointed out in his request for a parking extension that the additional spaces were needed to meet visitor demand.
Some locals have spoken out in favor of the extension to prevent visitors from parking elsewhere on the streets around the village, as spaces at Clarkson’s Farm Shop fill up quickly.
Others, however, have called out Clarskon for what they believe is that he is trying to create ‘a major tourist attraction’ in the rural Oxfordshire village.
The Daily Mail reported that a resident, Nigel Winser, of the quiet village of Oxford wrote in his letter of objection: “If the Farm Shop were loyal to selling local farm produce, the small car park is appropriate.
“Alas, the shop is already selling souvenirs, which attract a large number of shoppers from all over the UK.
“This trend will continue to grow year on year, with an increasing number of domestic and international buyers. Good for tourism, but not for sustainable agriculture in a beautiful area of national importance, for nature.
“The clearance for this car park, will be the thin end of the wedge, known as the ‘planning creep’.
“Visitor numbers will increase, a large restaurant will be established, high lighting will need to be added and before long it will become a major tourist attraction in the UK, bringing increased road safety and environmental hazards to the whole valley. “
The presenter’s plans proposed the creation of a new parking lot bounded by straw bales which would also be obscured by native species of hedges and a fenced enclosure.
The parish council, which opposed Clarkson’s proposal, said the increased parking spaces ‘would remove some, but not all, vehicles from the road given the number of visitors encountered, and would not reduce not the current number of vehicle movements in the area which is a security concern”.
Another resident of the village that is home to Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm, Michael Cooper, said in his comments on the plans that: “The planned entry and exit will not necessarily improve road safety and traffic flow. With an added ‘pinch point’ and being so close together there is a risk of additional problems and accidents.”
Jeremy moved to Amazon Prime Video after being kicked out of the BBC’s Top Gear show following an incident involving an ‘unprovoked physical attack’ on a producer of the hit car show he presented alongside Richard Hammond and James May.
Jeremy’s other show, Clarkson’s Farm, follows his journey of learning to run a farm with no previous experience and was a big hit for the former Top Gear presenter.
The show has been confirmed for a second series, but a release date has yet to be announced as fans eagerly await updates from Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm.
Do you think Jeremy Clarkson is right to expand his Oxfordshire-based Diddly Squat farm? Comment your thoughts below.