Jeremy Clarkson recalls ‘hilarious day’ on the farm
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Clarkson’s Farm star Jeremy Clarkson has called out “assorted moaners” from the local area around Diddly Squat Farm after he was prevented from opening a restaurant there. The former Top Gear presenter wrote all about how his plans were unexpectedly foiled in his latest column for The Sunday Times.
Jeremy, 61, had big dreams of opening a “small wood ‘n’ sawdust cafe” in his old lambing barn before his hopes were dashed by his local council.
The famous farmer explained how he mistakenly thought getting permission to open the restaurant would be “a shoo-in”, but that his plans were in fact blown altogether by “assorted moaners and a man called Phil”.
His ambitions to open a new restaurant on Diddly Squat Farm, which is located in West Oxfordshire, were dashed at the beginning of this week, much to Jeremy’s annoyance.
On January 10, the Clarkson’s Farm host saw his plans decisively thrown out by the council, with seven out of 10 councillors condemning the scheme.
The main point of contention appeared to be over what the restaurant could add to the community, including the creation of jobs and more opportunities for farmers to sell their produce, versus how it might disturb the area and surrounding environment.
Councillors weighed in on the controversial plans soon after Jeremy delivered a speech explaining his application for the Chipping Norton restaurant.
Plans to convert the lambing shed were savagely branded a “trojan horse” by a solicitor representing one couple named Mr and Mrs Dewar.
Others argued that the restaurant could cause traffic issues, while Jeremy’s long-time pal Councillor Postan dismissed these claims on the basis that there were “no statistics to prove it”.
Some people raised concerns about how late the restaurant would stay open, as a 10pm closing time had previously been proposed.
While other worried members of the community felt that having a restaurant in the area would jeopardise its status as a Dark Sky Zone – an area with little to no light pollution.
Jeremy didn’t think much of these arguments, writing in his column: “At one point a sensible younger woman said that people in the area cared more about how many jobs would be created than how many stars they could see.
“But she was immediately shut down by the chap to her right who said tetchily he liked to watch The Sky at Night. Right. I see.
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“Because you like watching a TV show about galaxies I shouldn’t have permission for a café.”
There seemed to be a strong argument for the restaurant bringing in jobs, as well as opportunities for local farmers.
Councillor Davies said of the plans: “I love the idea of cooperative working. We have to support farmers, they’re facing unprecedented hardship.
“I appreciate the applicant doesn’t show much appreciation for planning law. People living in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty need jobs.”
Jeremy added: “Other farmers in the area pledged their support too, which isn’t surprising as I’d be paying rather more than what they could get selling their pork and vegetables and chickens to the supermarkets.”
Unfortunately for the Amazon Prime star, citizens such as Councillor Saul expressed concerns over whether this was “appropriate farm diversification”.
Jeremy continued to explain that a “local government boss” Phil got up and made a speech that “built to a crescendo of fury”, claiming that the plans would cause “great harm” to their local area.
In the wake of what Jeremy describes as a “tidal wave of misguided moral righteousness”, a vote was held and the planning officer said she would not recommend granting the plans.
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