Jeremy Clarkson refused permission to open restaurant in Diddly Squat farm shop

By Amelia Riley

After Jeremy Clarkson filed an application to create a restaurant inside a lambing shed at his Oxfordshire farm, with more parking, it was refused.

Wanting to create a 50-cover restaurant with a kitchen, servery, and seating area inside a lambing shed at Diddly Squat farm, he filed an application with West Oxfordshire District Council.

According to planning documents, he wanted to re-use the “under-utilised” shed to provide “a new outlet for farm produce in the form of a cafe/restaurant.”

Originally used to house a flock of sheep, the lambing shed has now been “merged with a neighbouring landowner in a shared farming operation”, which resulted in the redundancy of the shed.

Hoping to deal with increased visitor numbers, the plans also sought an extension to the car park to provide space for 60 to 70 cars, however, the plans were rejected by the West Oxfordshire District Council planning committee.

Diddly Squat farm had become popular with visitors after the airing of “Clarkson’s Farm” on Amazon Prime last June. He had bought the farm in 2008 which was run by a local villager but, after retiring in 2019, decided to try and run it himself.

There were a total of 69 public objections made against the plans, and only 17 comments in support.

The objectors said the plans would affect traffic as one resident wrote: “Visitors park along the verges making it impossible for two-way traffic. Mud all over the road making it very slippery and dangerous. People walking down the middle of the road, and I personally have been sworn at to get out of their way.”

Another resident accused the farm shop of resulting “in environmental damage to the village”, and another said Clarkson has changed “traditional village life.”

Supporters of the application agreed that it would enhance the area and bring more business and employment.

The TV host admitted that the Diddly Squat farm had “swamped” the village, but he said: “The village shop is doing better, the cafe in the village, the pub in the village – they are all doing better.

“They are swamped with people but they are swamped with people spending money.”

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