Jeremy Clarkson in fresh battle with council over tree planting at Diddly Squat farm

18 December 2023, 09:02 | Updated: 18 December 2023, 09:40

Jeremy Clarkson opened the Diddly Squat Farm Shop in 2020.
Jeremy Clarkson opened the Diddly Squat Farm Shop in 2020. Picture: Alamy

By Ana Truesdale

Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat farm tree planting plans have been thwarted by the council.

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Jeremy Clarkson received a letter from the West Oxfordshire District Council over his plans to plant trees on Diddly Squat farm in Chipping Norton.

The local authority asked him to reduce the number of trees he planned to plant on his property.

"I recently received a missive from West Oxfordshire district council telling me that my plans to plant some trees must be scaled back. I'm not making that up, by the way", the TV presenter said.

In his column for the Sunday Times, Mr Clarkson explained he had planned on planting several trees around the 70-space car park of the Diddly Squat Farm Shop.

A landscape and forestry officer told Mr Clarkson that a few saplings should be enough for the car park. He said: "There does not appear to be a need for so many potentially very large trees along the boundary hedging around the car park."

He was granted permission to build the car park on the farm back in March after winning a planning appeal.

The council previously refused the plans by claiming that the spot was an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Visitors were forced to park along country roads, causing traffic chaos for the roads by the nearby village of Chadlington.

The popularity of the Diddly Squat Farm Shop meant the car park was often full.
The popularity of the Diddly Squat Farm Shop meant the car park was often full. Picture: Alamy

In January, the council forced the closure of the Diddly Squat Restaurant after slapping Mr Clarkson with a list of orders to be completed within six weeks of the notice being served. The requirements weren't completed and the restaurant was closed.

When he first opened the restaurant, Mr Clarkson told the Sun: “We had planning permission turned down but we’re opening anyway.

“Everyone at Diddly Squat has spent the last three months becoming an expert in planning regulations and we’ve found a delightful little loophole."

Mr Clarkson has no plans to reopen the restaurant.

In response to the column, local councillor Dean Temple said: "Essentially the landscape and forestry office didn't feel he needed to go that far."

He commented: "I don't begrudge Mr Clarkson spinning it into a humorous article. I've long been a fan of his written work and found his prose a delight. I appreciate the irony he says but I also can see where the council officer is coming on this."

Read more: Clarkson’s Farm update leaves fans buzzing in anticipation for the show’s third season

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In his column, Mr Clarkson also criticised the government's plans to encourage the use of tinder to build new homes, as part of efforts to combat climate change.

He said: "We start building little wooden houses, like beach shacks, for families to live in. I find that incredibly defeatist but tragically, indicative of the times..."

Amazon Prime Video confirmed in November that Clarkson's Farm will be renewed for a fourth series. The third series will air on the streaming service next year.