After being subjected to over 40 objections for fears of more traffic in his village, Jeremy Clarkson has been forced to redesign plans for Diddly Squat Farm’s expansion.
Jeremy, who’s been running the farm for two years now and has released an accompanying series, Clarkson’s Farm, to great success, has now submitted planning permission for an expansion to the business. It consists of a 70-space car park and a restaurant that’s big enough to seat 60 people. This will be built in an unused lambing shed that was featured in the Amazon Prime Video show during the first series.
But as the show’s success builds, more and more traffic is surging to Chadlington where the farm is situated. It turns out that those who live around this area aren’t too happy about this, despite the increased footfall for its local businesses, so a legal fight has begun with Jeremy in the firing lines.
40 objections have been logged on West Oxfordshire District Council’s website against the application. So now the plans have been changed by the architects who are managing the build.
The new plans will include the construction of a one-way system in and out of the proposed parking area, which is supported by an extra ‘overflow’ parking field. This will have a separate driveway as well as parking for bikes.
On top of this, ERS Pollution has said that the land is a former quarry, possibly meaning it’s “contaminated” and built on “filled ground”. A full investigation is going ahead to learn more.
A neighbour of Clarkson, Michael Cooper, wrote: “The Diddly Squat Farm shop has attracted an increase of clientele to the location the vast majority of which are more interested in purchasing goods and merchandise promoting the Diddly Squat ‘brand’ as opposed to ‘Bona Fide’ farming or agriculture produce.
“This is clearly confirmed in the Diddly Squat Farm Trip Advisor reviews from the purchasers themselves.
“There is clear evidence of the site being visited out of normal business hours.”
Another, Susan Myatt, also had something to add about this expansion:
“The site is unsuitable for a café plus the farm shop where there is only a few parking spaces available but there are often any number between 100 and 300 cars parked in an arable field, bringing red mud on to the road.”
Mark Cheyne who lives next to Diddly Squat Farm in a mansion that was built last year also added his thoughts:
“The extraordinary number of people attracted by the celebrity status of the applicant is totally out of proportion with custom for a small farm shop which has permission only to sell local produce.
“Approval of this application can only exacerbate the detrimental effect from which the landscape is already suffering, directly caused by the approval of previous applications.
“A restaurant inevitably will result in more cars and service vehicles, more noise and light and air pollution, more traffic hazards, and will disrupt the public highways adding a strain on council funds.”
Chadlington Parish Council has responded to the matter which is causing such a stir in the local area.
A spokesperson has said the following: “This planning application has proved to be extremely divisive within the village of Chadlington.
“There are many who hold very real concerns regarding this proposal and wish to object. However, there are also those who support this planning application.”
There are, however, people in Chadlington who support Jeremy’s business. Tim Catling wrote the following:
“I believe that lots of local businesses will benefit from the increased interest in the area due to Jeremy Clarkson’s input.
“We have visitors to our campsite and pub rooms just so they can spend a day over in Chadlington and Soho Farmhouse.
“I’m sure adults and teenagers will be employed in the restaurant and the building is far enough away from any residence so is unlikely to be a nuisance.”
West Oxfordshire District Council will be making a decision in the coming months. Of course, we’ll be updating you along the way.