Jeremy Clarkson to close Diddly Squat restaurant amid planning rows

Clarkson is said to have dropped his bid to keep his farm restaurant open despite protests from locals and an enforcement order from council officials.

The restaurant opened last July despite protests from locals who have complained about heavy traffic and disruption to the area since the Diddly Squat farm shop opened in 2020.

Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has reportedly written to West Oxfordshire District Council saying he “no longer [wishes] to open a restaurant”, adding that he has been “thwarted” by an enforcement notice, according to the Mirror.

Clarkson opened the restaurant last July despite protests from local residents, but it was initially closed following an enforcement order from council officials. However, he previously said he had found “a delightful little loophole” and therefore decided to keep the restaurant open.

Locals have complained that the Diddly Squat farm shop and restaurant have caused heavy traffic and disruption to the village of Chadlington.

According to the Mirror, Clarkson’s letter to the council also revealed he has sold most of the cows he had planned to sell as meat in the restaurant.

Since turning his hand to farming Clarkson has been widely praised for bringing public attention to the difficulties facing British farmers.

In his latest book, Diddly Squat: ‘Til the Cows Come Home, Clarkson wrote about the devastation local farmers, hoteliers and publicans felt when planning permission was initially denied for the restaurant, which would have stocked local produce and brought many customers to the area.

The decision, he wrote at the time, sent a clear message to thousands of struggling people who farm in a national park or area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – ‘that they may not turn unused buildings into cafes or gyms or office space’.

He added: ‘It’s nearly impossible to make money from farming these days and in recent years farmers have relied on government grants to keep going. But those grants are being phased out and we have been told by the government that to survive we must diversify. And now local government is saying we can’t. That has to be addressed, and soon.’

The second series of Clarkson’s Farm is due to launch on Prime on 10th February 2023.

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