Jeremy Clarkson has been branded a “hero” by writer and farmer Jamie Blackett after his Clarkson’s Farm antics have swept the nation, angering the locals of Chadlington where Diddly Squat Farm is based.
Blackett, who owns 1,250 acres of farmland himself on the borders of Scotland, understands Jeremy’s torturous experience with his local council and planning permissions. He hopes that Jeremy is able to shed some light on the difficulties that farmers are battling against in the current shape of the industry.
The Grand Tour presenter found his entrance to farming a mildly successful one, with his Amazon Prime Video show being hailed as one of the best shows to be published to the streaming service. Despite this, the actual farming business started slowly, with Jeremy making next to no profit in the first year.
Now, things are starting to look up for the presenter as his farm shop begins to make money, but in trying to expand the business, the council have rejected his plans.
Blackett has now told The Telegraph that he believes Clarkson’s experiences doing this will be useful to the rest of the farming community, drawing attention to how bad things can be for farmers.
“As far as councillors and civil servants in councils are concerned,” he says, “it is always so much easier just to say no.”
Blackett built a number of houses on his own land, but when he attempted to build more later on, those who were now living in those houses complained, pushing the council to reject the proposition. He disagrees with how this can be done:
“When I look around at all the beautiful houses built before 1947, and the architecture of houses built since, it is very hard to conclude that the planning laws have actually enhanced the landscape,” he says.
“If anything, I would say it is the reverse.”
Jeremy’s planning permission for a 60-seat restaurant and accompanying car park were rejected by his local council after fears that they would be “out of keeping” with the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty around it. Jeremy described this as a “very bad day for farming”, and it sounds like plenty would agree.