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15th Mar 2023

Jeremy Clarkson’s farm branded ‘a menace and a danger’

Charlie Herbert

Clarkson is appealing against planning decisions made by the council

Jeremy Clarkson’s farm business has been branded both a “menace” and a “success for local people” during a planning meeting.

Villagers in the area have been left divided about the impact of the farm and its shop on the Oxfordshire countryside.

Clarkson is appealing against West Oxfordshire District Council’s (WODC) decision to not grant planning permission for an extension to the car park at the farm shop, along with the council’s move to shut down his restaurant on the same plot of land because he allegedly did not have planning permission when he opened it in July last year.

On Tuesday a planning meeting got underway, the BBC reports.

The farm sits between Chadlington and Chipping Norton, and villagers clashed over the impact of Clarkson’s farm shop on the area.

One villager, Hilary Moore, said tourists were visiting the farm to “show off their cars” and block roads.

The council decided not to grant Clarkson permission to expand the farm shop car park (Getty)

Chadlington resident Moore said: “I don’t think the people who come are particularly respectful.

“They come in their cars with their souped-up engines – they are motorheads, they are not here to support our little farm shop.

“We have been disrupted by them in the two-and-a-half years since it’s been open. It’s ruining our area.

“There are farm shops all over the country that they could support instead of all converging here at the weekends.

“It’s a total menace. It’s a danger.”

But Joanna Cecil, a florist at the farm, told the meeting that she had been working there “since the very beginning”, and that visitors wanted to support local farming.

She told locals: “People go to the shop because it sells local. This is what Jeremy loves: he invests in the farm, he invests in local people.

“He is making a success of it for local people, for our children, and for our future.”

One villager said “disrespectful motorheads” were visiting the farm shop, labelling the business a “menace” and a “danger” (Getty)

Clarkson is also challenging the council’s move to shut down his restaurant on the same plot of land because he allegedly did not have planning permission when he opened it in July last year.

WODC took action against Clarkson in August saying in its enforcement notice that the “nature, scale and siting” of the restaurant on his farm was “incompatible with its open countryside location” in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In August 2022, WODC served Clarkson a notice ordering him to make a number of changes to his diner – including removing all mobile toilets and tables used for dining.

It also ordered the farm, to stop selling products that had not been made there, or within a 16-mile radius of it, with just a few exceptions.

In its appeal, John Phillips Planning Consultancy (JPPC) wrote that existing planning permission means Clarkson has the right to use the farm as a restaurant, and there has been no material change to the land.

But lawyers for the council argue the “level of use of the site” has “significantly increased” due to the restaurant, and the land was “now used for a mix of purposes which go well beyond that of a farm shop”.

The council has said that due to these reasons, the current planning permission “could never apply” to the new enterprises on the site.

The meeting continues on Wednesday, with a final decision on the plans to be published in the coming weeks.

Related links:

Clarkson’s Farm visitors expose what you don’t see on TV

Farmers notice mistake Kaleb Cooper keeps making in Clarkson’s Farm

Jeremy Clarkson voted ‘UK’s sexiest man’ in poll