Jeremy Clarkon’s farm-based TV show has been a ratings hit for Amazon, but Jezza’s local council officers aren’t so enthusiastic about Clarkson’s Farm and have told the star to shut its on-site restaurant. West Oxfordshire District Council says Diddly Squat Farm’s restaurant and cafe are in breach of local planning laws and has ordered them to close. Clarkson opened the restaurant in July this year having already been turned down for planning permission by the council six months earlier. The council’s enforcement notice claims that the farm’s parking, toilets and traffic are “visually intrusive and harmful to the rural character, scenic beauty and tranquillity” of the area. The farm is located in the Cotswold AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty), and AONBs have particularly tough planning regulations. “The unlawful use of Diddly Squat Farm by reason of its nature, scale and siting is unsustainable and incompatible with its open countryside location,” the notice explained.
The council demanded Clarkson close the restaurant and get rid of dining tables, chairs and picnic tables, though the former Top Gear presenter has lodged an appeal. Agents acting on Clarkson’s behalf have accused the council of being unreasonable and claim that the changes to the farm have not broken any planning laws, Sky News reports. “The appellant will demonstrate that the proposals would not be visually intrusive or harmful to the rural character of the area or the scenic beauty or tranquillity,” the appeal said. It’s not only the local council planners that Clarkson needs to placate, however. Some residents in the nearby village of Chadlington have been frustrated at the number of visitors following the farm’s exposure on the hit TV show, which was renewed for a second series in 2021. But Clarkson told the BBC’s Jeremy Vine that the village was also benefiting from the farm’s fame.