Jeremy Clarkson appealing notice to shut Diddly Squat Farm cafe and restaurant

Jeremy Clarkson is appealing an enforcement notice that had ordered his restaurant and cafe to shut. Credit: PA Media

Jeremy Clarkson is appealing an enforcement notice that had ordered his restaurant and cafe at his Oxfordshire farm to be shut.

The 62-year-old broadcaster opened his Diddly Squat Farm’s restaurant, in Chipping Norton Road, Chadlington, in July.

He had previously had two planning applications rejected by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC).

Filming on Diddly Squat Farm. Credit: Blackball Media/PA

WODC took action in August saying in its enforcement notice that the parking, toilets, traffic, along with the dining, installed by Clarkson’s farm is “visually intrusive and harmful” to the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“The unlawful use of Diddly Squat Farm by reason of its nature, scale and siting is unsustainable and incompatible with its open countryside location,” the local council stated.

It then ordered the shutting of the restaurant or anything selling food that will be consumed on the farm and also ordered the removal of the dining tables, chairs, parasols, picnic tables, and mobile toilet.

In the enforcement notice, it said there should be no retail food sold that does not come from the farm, within 16-mile (25.7km) of the farm or that has been allowed by the council, and also said the converted barn, where the restaurant is housed, must be returned to its original state.

Agents working on behalf of Clarkson say they are not in breach of planning laws, claiming that the council’s decision is “excessive”.

Jeremy Clarkson and his partner Lisa Hogan attend the Amazon Prime Video launch event for Clarkson’s Farm. Credit: PA/ Ian West

The John Phillips Planning Consultancy write in their September 9 appeal against the enforcement notice that existing planning permission gives them the right to use the farm as a restaurant, and there has been no “material change” to the land.

The appeal adds that Diddly Squat’s sale of food and use of tables and chairs are all “lawful” and it would take longer than the six weeks that the council has given them to remove the items.

The Planning Inspectorate, a Government agency, have accepted Clarkson’s appeal and are yet to set a date for a hearing.

He 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 run it himself.

The farm has proved popular with visitors ever since Amazon Studios series Clarkson’s Farm broadcast last June.

The success of the series has seen people flock to the farm shop to buy products such as Cow Juice, rapeseed oil, chutneys and jams.

Reports have previously said neighbours had been left annoyed by the amount of shoppers who have queued for hours to purchase goods.

In March, the former Top Gear presenter reapplied for planning permission for a car park extension on his farm and a “new storage compound and associated landscaping”.

This was rejected in May by WODC, which gave its refusal reasons in its notice of decision by saying that due to its location, size and design the proposed development would “have a visually intrusive and harmful impact on the rural character, scenic beauty and tranquillity” of the area.

Representatives for Mr Clarkson have been contacted for comment.