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Jeremy Clarkson’s farm neighbors back the Top Gear star’s plan for the restaurant Diddly Squat

Jeremy Clarkson was supported by fellow farmers, food producers and local Oxfordshire residents after his plans to build a hilltop restaurant were rejected by the council.

The 61-year-old Amazon Prime star said he was “very” frustrated after local officials criticized his bid to build a new restaurant and 70 parking spaces on the site of his 1,000-acre Diddly Squat farm near the quiet village of Chadlington, Oxfordshire, refused. .

Mr Clarkson personally attended a meeting of the West Oxfordshire District Council’s planning subcommittee on Monday in a last-ditch effort to push his plans through, but seven out of ten councilors voted against the plans.

The Grand Tour host left the meeting saying it was a bad day for farmers and labeled one of the planning officials a comedian.

But he has found support in his community among those who say council planners reject new ideas in agriculture.

Jeremy Clarkson was supported by fellow farmers, food producers and local Oxfordshire residents after his plans to build a hilltop restaurant were rejected

Jeremy Clarkson was supported by fellow farmers, food producers and local Oxfordshire residents after his plans to build a hilltop restaurant were rejected

Pete Ledbury, who farms a few miles from the Diddly Squat farm in the North Cotswolds Dairy with his wife Emma, ​​told the guard: ‘We know we need to diversify to earn a living and create more jobs for rural areas.

‘Rejecting projects like this doesn’t help. I think it’s rather short-sighted of the planners.’

His wife Emma said their farm has lost 40 of its 100-strong herd of Holstein cattle to bovine tuberculosis in the past few years, while outlining the pressures farmers are currently facing.

A liter of milk costs them 32 pence to produce, and supermarket buyers are currently paying them 28 pence per litre.

TV host Jeremy Clarkson's controversial bid to expand his popular Diddly Squat ranch backfired after councilors rejected his application

TV host Jeremy Clarkson’s controversial bid to expand his popular Diddly Squat ranch backfired after councilors rejected his application

She said, ‘British farming is a mess.’

Clarkson has overcome some of these hurdles by selling directly to the customer through a vending machine in his farm store.

He hoped to incorporate his own products, including milk, cream and butter, into his restaurant before his plans were rejected.

Cotswolds colleague Max Abbott, owner of the Sourdough Revolution bakery in Lechdale, had hoped to supply Clarkson’s future restaurant with bread.

He said, “Jeremy employs people and brings in money. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but what the council is doing seems absurd.’

Pictured: The landscape proposal for Diddly Squat Farm including a parking space for 70 vehicles

Pictured: The landscape proposal for Diddly Squat Farm including a parking space for 70 vehicles

Pictured: The planting proposal for the cafe that would be on the property just behind his current farm shop

Pictured: The planting proposal for the cafe that would be on the property just behind his current farm shop

Victoria Steffens, who works in the Chadlington village shop, says it is mainly newcomers who are angry with Clarkson over the traffic congestion his farming success has brought to the area.

She described the TV personality as “marmite” and said she still supports him to provide jobs in the area and the locals who have lived there for a long time are aware of the problems farmers face.

Meanwhile, district councilor Merilyn Davies, who supported Clarkson’s proposals, said the plans were “interesting” and officials should remember that people in the region live and fend for themselves.

More than 50 objections were filed with the council over fears of increased traffic in the village following the success of his hit series Clarkson’s Farm.

Since the Amazon show’s debut last summer, hundreds of Clarkson fans from across Britain have caused traffic chaos by queuing for hours to get into the star’s beloved farm shop.

Since the Amazon Prime show's debut last summer, hundreds of Clarkson fans from across Britain have queued for hours to enter the star's beloved farm shop.

Since the Amazon Prime show’s debut last summer, hundreds of Clarkson fans from across Britain have queued for hours to enter the star’s beloved farm shop.

A neighbor has even filed a lawsuit against the restaurant plans, claiming the area was in danger of becoming a “Jeremy Clarkson theme park.”

During Monday’s meeting, Mr Clarkson insisted that he is simply trying to “diversify” his business and warned that farmers will not be able to properly care for the natural environment because of their finances.

“Farmers take care of the forest, they take care of the hedges, the streams and the fields, they keep it beautiful,” he said.

‘Farmers won’t be able to do that for much longer because of the farmers’ financial situation. We as farmers have been told to diversify – that’s exactly what this proposal is.’

Although councilors were divided at the meeting over Mr Clarkson’s proposals, local officials agreed to deny permission.

They argued that the cafe “wouldn’t fit” in the Cotswolds Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mr Clarkson personally attended a meeting of the planning subcommittee of the West Oxfordshire District Council in a last ditch effort to push through his plans

Mr Clarkson personally attended a meeting of the planning subcommittee of the West Oxfordshire District Council in a last ditch effort to push through his plans

His pleas fell on deaf ears, seven in ten councilors voted against the measures

His pleas fell on deaf ears, seven in ten councilors voted against the measures

Locals are divided over the increase in tourism, some say it has put Oxfordshire village on the map and boosted the local economy

Locals are divided over the increase in tourism, some say it has put Oxfordshire village on the map and boosted the local economy

The council’s planning officer Joan Desmond said: ‘Due to its location, design, scale and location, the proposed development would not be sustainable and would not be compatible or consistent in scale with the existing farm or open rural location.

‘Due to its design, scale, location and nature of use within the Cotswolds Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty, the proposed development would have a visually intrusive and damaging effect on the rural character, scenic beauty and tranquility of the area.’

Councilor Dean Temple, who represents Chadlington, told the meeting: “It is with a heavy heart that I propose that we reject this proposal.”

And Councilor Elizabeth Poskitt added: “There are plenty of less intrusive places where you could have a restaurant.”

The TV host had hoped to convert a lambing shed built in 2020 after purchasing a new flock of sheep to expand the farm. It has now merged with another local farming herd.

Documents show that the building has since been used as a cafe and bar without planning permission.

Chadlington Parish Council said it held a public meeting in November to decide on the ‘divisive and controversial’ application, but a vote was inconclusive.

Campaign to protect England’s countryside West Oxfordshire said any new restaurant would be a ‘major foray’ into the AONB and ‘spoil the rural character of the Upper Evenlode Valley’.

Mr Clarkson’s representatives had already been forced to alter transit plans for the scheme to include a new one-way system and an overflow car park to try and appease the growing number of objectors.

He had also been issued a notice of complaint following complaints that the farm shop had violated its original planning terms by selling souvenirs outside of town.

The municipality issued the notice of violation amid allegations that the products sold in the store were not farm-grown, grown or produced by other local producers.

If proven, that would violate a condition of the November 2019 building permit, the municipality warned.

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