Jeremy Clarkson’s hopes of extending his Diddly Squat Farm Shop in Oxfordshire have been dealt a blow after he was refused planning permission for a larger car park.
The former Top Gear presenter had wanted to extend parking for the shop, which has attracted a large number of visitors and is close to the village of Chadlington, from ten to seventy spaces.
Local councillors refused, saying that the plans would have a “visually intrusive and harmful impact” on the Cotswolds countryside.
It is the second time this year that Clarkson, 62, has had a planning application rejected. The presenter, whose new career in agriculture was made famous by the hit Amazon series Clarkson’s Farm, had originally hoped to build a 50-seat restaurant.
It would have sold beef from his own herd of cattle and other produce, but the restaurant plans were sunk in January, when planning permission was refused.
His proposal for a larger car park at his farm shop appears to have divided locals. The business appears to have been successful, with Chadlington Parish Council estimating that about 400 vehicles had been parking on fields around the site on a single busy day. Some have referred to the car park as “Diddly Squelch” because of the mud.
There had been around 30 objection comments from villagers with some citing concerns over traffic chaos around Chadlington. An equal number voiced their support for the application, which was refused on Friday by West Oxfordshire district council.
The parish council objected to the application, saying it “would remove some, but not all, vehicles from the road given the visitor numbers experienced, and would not reduce the current number of vehicle movements in the area which is a safety concern”.
Some locals have been annoyed by the farm shop disregarding a planning requirement to only sell produce from within a 16-mile radius and the council had served Clarkson with a planning contravention notice.