‘Clarkson’s Farm’ returned to Amazon Prime for its second series on Friday and it wasn’t long until everyone was talking about the problems that were facing Diddly Squat Farm this season.
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The veteran TV presenter had to take on bird flu, cattle and badgers this year, but by far and away the biggest obstacle was the local council in Chipping Norton who simply refused to let him open a farm restaurant because it would upset the locals too much. One of these locals is a man named Hamish Dewar, who has decided to hire a London planning barrister to submit his objections to the application, as well as setting up a crowdfunder against the farm that has already raised £20,000.
Here’s what his crowdfunder says:
I have lived in Chadlington for 28 years with my family and intend to leave, way in the future, in a recycled cardboard box.
I am hoping to prevent Jeremy Clarkson changing the use of a ‘Lambing Shed’ into a cafe and restaurant. As I understand it, the shed has had minimal agricultural use and has been a ‘Trojan Horse’ for far bigger aspirations. I believe this is an abuse of the planning system and a threat to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
I am hoping to raise funds to bring a legal case to ensure that celebrity and wealth alone cannot force through a planning application without the case of those with reasonable, and passionate, objections, being taken into account.
I must stress that this is not a personal vendetta against Jeremy Clarkson, who has many supporters in Chadlington who disagree with my stance. He has the platform, primarily in the Sunday Times, to put across his case, and, it must be said, to be (in the eyes of some) rude and offensive at will [ “moron”, “red trouser brigade” and “a busybody”] but also has the wherewithal, and apparent inclination, to be an inspiration for regenerative agriculture.
His very near neighbour https://www.farm-ed.co.uk has, in my opinion, the moral high ground in the farming debate. If he can be stopped from pursuing what is, again in my opinion, a really daft idea, and focus on responsible farming, the world will, in one tiny corner of the Cotswolds, be a better place.
The plan to change the use of the lambing shed into a 50-seat cafe and restaurant is, in my view, flawed in so many ways, and should be opposed. There is also the (in my view entirely justified) concern that a 50-seat restaurant will grow to match the 150-head alcohol licence which has already been granted. Primarily, I will argue in my legal case that it is a real and imminent threat to an AONB, a very dangerous planning precedent where a ‘Trojan Horse’ application can abuse the planning system, and will lead to a traffic flow that will destroy the nature and character of a village which simply cannot safely accommodate the amount of cars, bikes, vans and buses that are already being attracted here by the fame and appeal of Jeremy Clarkson.
In order to take my case forward I need to employ a traffic and an agricultural expert, right now, to put my case to West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC). I will also need legal counsel, with the expertise and experience of such a high profile case, to represent me. To have any hope of being able to fairly and equably present my case I need the help of those who care, as passionately as I do, about rural England, or indeed, on a far broader canvas, about the conservation of those things that matter to us.
£5000 will enable me to seek the advice of a planning and an agricultural expert.
£10,000 will enable me to have formal responses from them, to be presented to WODC.
£25,000 will give me an initial fighting fund should this go to Judicial Review.
Every £ helps and every £ shows that people care.
There are so many other far more critical and crucial appeals than this, which we all read and hear about, and I am sure often contribute to, every day, so I thank you very much for reading to the end of this message. I cannot pretend that this is any more than what it is…a local planning dispute.
If you have the time and the inclination please do read the submissions, for and against, on the WODC website.
All the best
Well I’ll be honest I don’t really know what Dewar’s problem is and whether Clarkson should be pursuing this restaurant or not, but I what I do tend to find in these situations is that old people hate anything changing whatsoever even if it is for the better so I’m kinda inclined to side with Clarkson. Not something I would usually say but there you go. Dewar really does sound like a guy with too much time on his hands who needs a cause to rally behind and opposing Clarkson’s Farm is the one that he’s chosen to pick.
I haven’t watched all of ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ yet but he is pretty clear that the national government and local councils are the biggest hindrance to him and all the other farmers in the country doing anything ata ll, so again I’m gonna side with the presenter here and think that Dewar is just being another annoying busybody. Not sure what will end up happening with this but I’m sure we’ll find out the result of it in series three if not sooner.
For more of the same, check out when Clarkson gave James Corden advice on how not to be jerk. That hasn’t aged so well.