Jeremy Clarkson sees Diddly Squat restaurant request rejected

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Jeremy Clarkson has seen an application to plan a restaurant on his Oxfordshire farmhouse rejected by authorities.

The broadcaster, 61, applied to create a 50-seat restaurant, including a kitchen, “service area and indoor seating area” inside a lambing shed at his Diddly Squat farm in September.

Planning documents indicated that Clarkson wanted to reuse the “underused lambing shed” to “further diversify agricultural activity and complement the farming activity and the existing farm store, providing a new outlet for farm products. in the form of a cafe / restaurant. “

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Clarkson is seen pulling water outside The Squat Shop at his farm, Diddly Squat, near Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds (Blackball Media / PA)

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Clarkson is seen pulling water outside The Squat Shop at his farm, Diddly Squat, near Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds (Blackball Media / PA)

He added that in demand, an extension of the existing parking lot to provide a capacity “from 60 to 70 cars” was also sought “to cope with both the parking under-supply for the existing store and any increase in the number. number of visitors who will associate with the new restaurant.

But according to the BBC, a West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) planning committee rejected the request on Monday.

He told the broadcaster that the plans would improve agriculture and tourism in the region and that the denial meant a “very bad day for farming”.

When asked how frustrated he was, he added, “Very, and all the local farmers too. “

Planning documents revealed that Chadlington Parish Council held a public meeting in November 2021 on whether to “oppose” or “not oppose or support” the proposed development. It ended with an inconclusive vote.

The parish council added that the request having been “so controversial and contentious” it should be referred to the full planning committee instead of a subcommittee.

Almost 70 objections were filed against the online request, while 17 comments were favorable.

Those who opposed said the development “would create further erosion of tranquility and have a significant environmental impact in the Cotswolds Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)” while others said demand “would worsen the traffic situation “.

Those who supported the request said the plans “would totally improve the immediate area around the existing store”, while the proposals for parking and improving access “would significantly improve the situation.”

Clarkson, whose farm is the subject of an Amazon Studios series called Clarkson’s Farm, previously held a reunion with residents of the nearby village of Chadlington in September following the “gossip” that had spread over its plans.

Those who attended the meeting – which was only open to residents – previously told PA they “felt” the majority of residents were open to the project.

Diddly Squat Farm has proven popular with visitors after being featured on an Amazon series last June.

Clarkson bought the farm in 2008 and it was run by a villager, but when he retired in 2019 the TV presenter decided to see if he could manage it himself.

The success of the series has seen people flock to the farm store to purchase items such as “cow juice,” rapeseed oil, chutneys and jams.

Reports previously said neighbors were annoyed by the number of buyers who lined up for hours to purchase goods.

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