The show must go on! Jeremy Clarkson films scenes for his Amazon Prime series at the Diddly Squat farm shop as he battles to extend car park at council planning hearing
- Camera crews have been spotted filming again at Clarkson’s Oxfordshire farm
- READ MORE: Death threats after opposing the expansion of Diddly Squat farm
Filming has resumed at Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat farm amid the TV star’s ongoing planning war with a council to expand the site.
Camera crews have been pictured at the former Top Gear star’s property in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire – which is the location of his popular Amazon Prime show, Clarkson’s Farm.
The filming comes as amid an appeal battle between the 62-year-old TV personality and West Oxfordshire District Council, which refused to grant permission for him to extend the shop’s car park in May last year.
The planning inspector has been holding a hearing into Clarkson’s appeal on the matter, where extra security measures were put in place due to the threats made towards his workers.
Clarkson is also challenging the authority’s move to shut down his restaurant on the same plot of land because he allegedly opened it without planning permission in July last year.
Jeremy Clarkson has been spotted being filmed by camera crews on his Diddly Squat farm in Oxfordshire. The former Top Gear star is pictured with partner Lisa Hogan
The filming comes amid a planning battle with the local council, which has refused to grant Clarkson permission to extend the car park at his farm shop
Clarkson appeared all smiles when he was photographed at the farm while film crews were recording
The controversial TV star – who ignited a firestorm of criticism with a column about Meghan Markle earlier this year – appeared all smiles as he left his farm shop with partner Lisa Hogan.
READ MORE: Fans flock to Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm as presenter’s future with Who Wants To Be a Millionaire hangs in the balance following Meghan Markle comments
Kaleb Cooper, who is one of the fan favourites on Clarkson’s Farm, was also spotted on site and posed for photos with fans.
The filming comes after it was revealed teenage workers at Diddly Squat have to wear bodycams to record abuse directed at them from angry locals over the influx of visitors the motoring journalist brings.
But villagers who support Diddly Squat farm have described it as the ‘crown jewel’ of sustainable living as they pleaded with their local council to allow expansion plans.
A two-day Planning Inspectorate meeting continued today to consider proposals by the 62-year-old former Top Gear presenter to extend the car park on his Oxfordshire farm plot to accommodate 70 vehicles.
The plans are opposed by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) on the grounds that it would encourage more visitors to Diddly Squat farm – which sits between Chadlington and Chipping Norton – adding to traffic problems.
WODC has also said allowing more vehicles would further disturb the tranquility of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Kaleb Cooper, a fan favourite on Clarkson’s Farm, was pictured having his photo taken with visitors to the site as filming appeared to have resumed on the Amazon Prime TV show
Clarkson is challenging West Oxfordshire District Council’s move to shut down his restaurant on the same plot of land because he allegedly opened it without planning permission in July last year
The filming comes amid concerns for the safety of workers at Clarkson’s farm, who have been forced to wear bodycams to film the alleged abuse directed at them by locals, a recent council meeting heard. Pictured is Clarkson with a camera team
Annabel Gray, 32, who works on a catering trailer at Clarkson’s farm, today said that workers as young as 16 on the farm have had to ‘wear body cameras’ as a precaution following ‘abuse’ directed at them by villagers.
READ MORE: Councillor and member of the public receive death threats after opposing the expansion of Clarkson’s Diddly Squat farm
She also responded to a complaint made in a meeting by Chadlington resident Hilary Moore who described tourists attracted to the farm as ‘motorheads’ who drive slowly on surrounding roads to ‘show off their cars’.
But Ms Gray said this description was ‘unfair’, and that she had ‘witnessed local people’ adding to traffic issues by driving slowly too.
Ms Gray, who is also a farmer’s daughter, said the farm shop provides an ‘important’ education for visitors, some of whom do not realise that ‘beef burgers come from a cow’.
She told the hearing: ‘Diddly Squat has an important opportunity to educate people about local farming and I find it really frustrating that the council is overlooking that.
‘There are few places about where you can experience where we get food from.
‘Jeremy’s following do not have that great a knowledge about farming – I have had to explain to people that beef burgers come from a cow – and they travel long distances with the hope they might see him, but also to experience farming they have seen on TV.
‘They buy something that’s being produced by the local farming community and they are wowed by it and then they go and seek it out in their local communities.
Teenage workers at Jeremy Clarkson’s (pictured with girlfriend Lisa Hogan at the F1 Grand Prix at Bahrain non March 5) farm have to wear bodycams to record abuse directed at them from angry locals
Rows of cars queuing to get to the farm shop at Diddly Squat farm in Oxfordshire as a bus tries to get past
‘This is a massive, massive opportunity for WODC. I am begging you that this is something that can be improved on rather than turn your back on.’
Local butcher and Diddly Squat supplier Henry Lawrence, 33, said the shop could be ‘the crown jewel’ of sustainable farming and that his business has grown ‘dramatically’ since trading with it.
Mr Lawrence, who owns Hook Norton Butchers, said: ‘I would like to see a car park granted of the correct capacity, not only for the success of the farm shop, but for the success of local businesses too.
‘Diddly Squat farm could be the crown jewel in the local sustainable farming movement.’
Chadlington Parish Council chairman Andrew Hutchings, 56, emphasised that there was ‘a range of opinions’ on the farm in the village, but most agreed that it had ‘clearly outgrown what it was built for’.
He said: ‘We have reached a tipping point between a farm shop and a tourist type attraction for people who want to see the celebrity as well as the farm.
‘The problem comes when you have too many visitors … the traffic is a major issue to the community at large.
‘When you have a site which has significant traffic problems and cannot deal with the number of visitors, should we be adding more services and features that enable more people to spend longer on the premises?
‘It’s very hard to see the proposed car park dealing with that at peak times.’
Visitors to Clarkson’s farm queueing up outside the shop
WODC has argued that the car park expansion indicates a change in the use of his land from being for the shop, to being for ‘leisure activities’, which would require different planning considerations.
Local butcher and Diddly Squat supplier Henry Lawrence, 33, said the shop could be ‘the crown jewel’ of sustainable farming
Clarkson’s legal representative Richard Kimblin KC contested this, saying the extra parking space reflects increasing demand for the shop alone due to its ‘remarkable success in selling farm goods’.
The council’s lawyer said that if Clarkson’s business were operating as a farm shop only, visitors would stay only for ‘around five minutes’ to buy their goods, so a space for up to 70 vehicles is ‘too big’.
It was previously heard that visitors stay longer to ‘take selfies’, meet Clarkson, and have a day out at the site.
WODC previously shut down a restaurant which Clarkson had opened last year – allegedly without planning permission – and the TV presenter has subsequently said he no longer wishes to reopen it.
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