Jeremy Clarkson’s farm appeal decision made as Clarkson’s Farm star achieves partial victory

15 June 2023, 14:48 | Updated: 16 June 2023, 06:48

The report on Clarkson's farm was released today.
The report on Clarkson's farm was released today. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Jeremy Clarkson has been partially successful in his attempt to make changes to his farmland after he appealed a decision from his local council.

The Planning Inspectorate has granted Clarkson, 63, permission to open a temporary car park on his farmland and to change the uses of his land – but not to build a restaurant in a report announced today.

Diddly Squat Farm opened up a restaurant in July 2022, featured in the hit Amazon Prime Video documentary series, Clarkson’s Farm, which documented the former presenter’s attempts to run a farm in the countryside.

Mr Clarkson first conceived of the idea for a restaurant on his farmland in January 2022, his plans were rejected by West Oxfordshire District Council.

But the former Top Gear presenter went ahead with his plans in July, after he declared he had found a “delightful little loophole” in the rejected plans.

Mr Clarkson shared the news on Twitter: “I'm thrilled to announce that you now have a chance to try the amazing food we grow and rear on my farm at the brand new (but quite rustic) Diddly Squat restaurant.”

But despite Mr Clarkson’s excitement about the addition to his farm, he was forced to shut the restaurant down in January of 2023 after being served with an enforcement notice from his local council.

The Clarkson’s Farm star later appealed the council’s decision about his farmland, and in the report announced today, it seems the 63-year-old has been partially successful in his appeal.

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Visitors queue at Diddly Squat Farm Shop in Chipping Norton.
Visitors queue at Diddly Squat Farm Shop in Chipping Norton. Picture: Alamy

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Inspector RJ Perrins' report outlines how the council objected to Mr Clarkson adapting the land "to a mixed agricultural and leisure attraction use, comprising cafe, restaurant, gift/farm shop, parking and lavatory facilities".

Previously Mr Clarkson faced pushback from the council, as he attempted to apply for permission to build a temporary car park on the land in a bid to ease traffic on the roads around it.

Although the application was only for a temporary car park, locals’ opinions on the extension was split.

Some local business owners felt the farm had opened up the community to a number of benefits, including local employment and the economy, while others felt the increased tourism to the area was disruptive.

But the report today ruled that Mr Clarkson can in fact extend the car park and “formalise temporary parking and provision of new access arrangements”, he just can’t open a restaurant.

Mr Perrins said the farm cannot currently cope with its parking demand, which has resulted in visitors parking on adjacent field, roads and verges.

But the addition of outdoor seating, a catering van, a toilet block, signage and a restaurant had a “deleterious effect upon the character and appearance” on what is known as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The permission for a car park extension on the Cotswolds site will last three years but must be restored once those three years are up.

Season three of the TV series Clarkson's Farm also appears to be on the way, as filming is reported to finish in October.

Responding to excited fans in an Instagram post, he said: "We actually won’t finish filming it till October.

"There’s something we are trying which won’t be resolved till then. So it’s a while off yet."