Jeremy Clarkson has given up on the idea of having a restaurant on his Diddly Squat Farm, according to his correspondence with West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC).
Clarkson announced plans to open the restaurant in July 2022, however the following month he was issued an Enforcement Notice by the council to cease operations.
The former Top Gear presenter said his attempts to open a restaurant on the farm were “thwarted by the enforcement notice”, and he has now had to sell most of the cows he bought to supply the meat for the proposed restaurant.
In a letter to the council, Clarkson wrote: “On the farming front, I had read about something called mob grazing. This is a highly ecological way of rejuvenating the soil, using the muck from hens and cows, rather than chemical fertilisers.
“The problem was that if I sold the cows in the conventional way, I’d lose about £200 on each one.
“So I decided that to make a profit, the beef should be cooked and served in a restaurant, which I’d create by converting our lambing barn.
“Permission for this was refused. And our attempts to get round the problem by using permitted development rights, and opening up in our so-called Lowland Barn were thwarted by the enforcement notice we are appealing today.
“As a result of this, I’ve had to sell most of the cows I bought. And now I’m back to using chemicals. I no longer wish to open a restaurant.”
The news follows Clarkson’s recent decision to temporarily close Diddly Squat Farm Shop until the release of season two of Clarkson’s Farm.
Season two of Amazon Prime Video series is set to appear on screens on February 10, 2023, and Clarkson said in the meantime, fans can still make purchases from the online store of the Diddly Squat Farm Shop.
On the matter of parking for the restaurant, part of the refused application, Clarkson said he understood how the crowd the Diddly Squat Farm attracted created traffic problems and may have “infuriated some people in the local village”.
“We therefore applied for permission to create a parking area in an adjacent field. Incredibly, the local people objected to that too, so it was refused by WODC, without even getting to committee,” he said.
“And now Oxfordshire County Council is suggesting that people will soon no longer be able to park on the road.
“If there was virtually no parking on the site and none at all on the road, I have no idea what would happen.
“A second series of Clarkson’s Farm is due to air in February next year and a third series has already been commissioned. So we expect people to continue arriving in great numbers.”
The future of Diddly Squat
Jeremy Clarkson said he had no desire to expand his on-site businesses and further following the enforcement notice on his restaurant.
“We are perfectly happy with what we have,” he said.
“A little shop, and the lambing barn, which can be used for lambing in the spring and as a place for people to sit in the summer while they have food and a glass of our own beer from the mobile van.
“Contrary to some of the claims being made, I do not want to turn Diddly Squat Farm into Disneyland. It is, after all, where I live.
“But we really do need on-site parking. It’s vital. And lavatories.”