Jeremy Clarkson restaurant application refused by council
An application by Jeremy Clarkson to open a restaurant at his Diddly Squat farm has been refused by West Oxfordshire District Council.
In a planning committee meeting earlier today, seven out of 10 councillors were reported to have voted against the application, described as "divisive and contentious".
The television presenter announced last year that he was looking to open a restaurant "full of pies and gravy" in his former lambing barn.
Planning officers had recommended the application be refused on the grounds that it "would not be compatible or consistent in scale with the existing farming business" and would have "a visually intrusive and harmful impact on the rural character, scenic beauty and tranquillity of the area".
Locals that opposed the application raised concerns that it would cause traffic problems, cause light pollution and result in "chaos and disruption". Those in favour argued it would provide a venue and employment for local people.
Ahead of the meeting, the council received 53 letters of objection and 12 letters of support.
"We have been told as farmers to diversify and that is exactly what this proposal is, it's diversification of a farming business," Clarkson said at the meeting.
Clarkson bought the 1,000-acre farm in 2008 and it was run by a farm manager until 2019, when the presenter took over the site himself.
The business has been the subject of an Amazon Studios series called Clarkson's Farm, which charted the difficulties faced by farm workers during the pandemic. Its popularity has resulted in large numbers of tourists visiting his Diddly Squat Farm Shop, prompting complaints from locals.
Photo: Shutterstock / Peter Titmuss