While Jeremy Clarkson won the hearts of his viewers on Amazon Prime Video’s Clarkson’s Farm, he lost the support of many of his neighbours as his Diddly Squat Farm became the main attraction of the area. This pulled hundreds, if not thousands of fans from across the country to the small villages of Chadlington and Chipping Norton, increasing traffic levels on the roads and in turn, angering locals.
Giving his fans insights into his farming life through his columns, he’s kept many of us up to date as he battles with the difficult industry and his neighbours. His recent column for the Sunday Times has revealed that yet another “mild problem” has arisen, which left the locals “shaking their fists with fury”.
On talking about what’s going on globally, Jeremy soon moved onto what was surrounding his farm at the time:
“We have the scenes outside my farm shop,” he said.
“In the run-up to Christmas many people came from far and wide to buy honey and milk.
“This caused a mild parking problem, I admit, but there’s no such thing as mild any more.”
He continued: “So the villagers shook their fists with fury, as though their dogs had been murdered and their houses burnt down.”
He was keen to add that other villages have similar problems:
“Someone says their neighbour’s hedge is a bit too tall, and within a week they are in a wicker man and the village elders are dancing hysterically round the maypole, naked save for a layer of woad and goose fat,” he joked.
Only days ago, the council turned down Jeremy Clarkson’s proposals to expand Diddly Squat Farm. The presenter of Clarkson’s Farm applied for planning permission to convert an unused lambing shed into a restaurant with a large enough capacity to seat 60 people, as well as construct a new car park for 70 cars on his property in Chadlington.
Despite the fact that these plans appeared to reduce the parking on nearby streets that The Grand Tour presenter’s neighbours had complained about, locals submitted over 50 objections. Following that, he attended a meeting in person with the West Oxford District Council to support his cause.
He said the following to the councillors: “We have been told as farmers to diversify ‑ that is exactly what this proposal is.”
The proposals received a slew of objections – 53 in total – with only 12 letters in support submitted. Furthermore, 7 of the 10 councillors refused to give approval, claiming that the structure would be “out of keeping” with the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty around it.
Jeremy concluded the situation as a “very bad day for farming”.