Jeremy Clarkson has successfully been able to open his long-awaited Diddly Squat Restaurant after months of battling with the local council. But while he’s recently “found a loophole” that has enabled him to sell food in a restaurant-like eatery, what stopped him from opening it in the first place?
The Clarkson’s Farm presenter’s original plan was to convert an unused lambing shed into a 50-seat restaurant alongside a 70-space car park as he attempted to diversify his farming revenue. This was rejected by the council after 53 letters of complaints from Chadlington locals who complained of the increase in traffic.
Complaints from locals
One letter stated:
“Given the remoteness of location and there being a set number of covers a restaurant can manage at any point in time, all objections regarding increased traffic are a fallacy. With use of online reservations, a change of use to a restaurant will regularise visitors and be a positive to those concerned a change of use will increase disruption.”
One local complained to the Daily Mail:
“It is complete chaos – I was 20 minutes late for a doctor’s appointment due to queues,” she said withholding her name.
“They have parking management on the entrance of Clarkson’s farm who are instructing cars to park on the road.
“The cars parked to go on for more than a mile.
“It is ridiculous.
“It took us half an hour to get up the road to get to our home.”
West Oxfordshire district council voted against the plans 8 to 2, with the argument being that it would cause “great harm” to an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Council planning officer Joan Desmond said the following:
“By reason of its siting, design, scale and location, the proposed development would not be sustainable and would not be compatible or consistent in scale with the existing farming business or its open countryside location.”
She continued to say that it clashed with several policies of the West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031 and advice in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which sets out Government planning policies. She added:
“By reason of its design, scale, siting and nature of the use within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the proposed development would have a visually intrusive and harmful impact on the rural character, scenic beauty and tranquillity of the area.”
Jeremy Clarkson’s response
Jeremy’s response was unsurprising, noting this as “a bad day for farming”, adding that he will be appealing and will go as far as to “go to the secretary of state”.
Diddly Squat Restaurant is now open, but it’s not a traditional setup – likely due to council restrictions. You must book a table in advance, there is no set menu, and you may be open to England’s volatile weather.
Despite this, fans have flocked to the restaurant with it now being very difficult to book a table.