Grand Tour Nation recently reported that Jeremy Clarkson’s plans to expand his Diddly Squat Farm beyond its tiny confines has been rejected by the local council. Now, the Clarkson’s Farm presenter has talked to TalkTV to rant about the “infuriating” state of his plans.
“I’ve no idea I must have offended the planners in some way in a column I wrote probably 20 years ago and I can’t get planning permission.
“Maybe I should buy an apron and join the Masons. I don’t know what you have to do. But I simply can’t get planning permission for anything.
“Which is infuriating, but it’s not just me as it turns out.”
He continues, adding that he’s not the only farmer who’s been up against this type of response:
“Farmers up and down the country are saying the same thing.
“I’m sure you know the basic farm payment scheme has been reduced dramatically. Right?
“It’s gone down from £80,000 to £60,000, it goes down to £40,000 next year, and it will eventually go to nothing at all.
“And the government has told farmers to diversify, to think of other ways of making money and not just to rely on taxpayer assistance.”
Jeremy opened up Diddly Squat Farm shop to extract what profit he could out of his produce. But even this has been stamped on by local authorities:
“So I thought okay, fine. I’ll open a shop. I’ll open a restaurant and sell my produce there.
“But the local authority just says, ‘No, no, you can’t do that.’
“So I’ve been told to diversify on the one hand, and then told I can’t diversify by local planners.”
He continued, obviously angry about how farmers are being treated across the country:
“Without knowing it, the West Oxfordshire District Council is writing a fantastic script, and every farmer in the country will go, ‘That’s exactly what’s happening.’
“You know, these, how can I put it… not terribly bright people in planning departments just don’t understand what they’re messing around with.
“And I’m seeing the results. I was told to change the traditional green tin roof on my shop, to a much more expensive slate.
“I was told I couldn’t sell milk that was coming from five miles away from a woman who’s desperately, desperately worried about her future as a dairy farmer because of TB and so on.”
A large portion of this expansion was put together to please Chandlington locals after they made it very clear they didn’t appreciate the increased traffic and accompanying parking of cars on public roads. Jeremy’s plans included the expansion of his car park from space for 10 cars, to space for 70. But despite this, he hasn’t “been allowed to build a car park”.