A council member of the West Oxfordshire District Council, Dean Temple, who voted against granting planning permission for Jeremy Clarkson’s restaurant and car park, claims to have been subjected to vicious online abuse from fans of the presenter. Temple represents Chadlington on the West Oxfordshire District Council and is a member of the planning committee that was featured in Clarkson’s Farm Season 2.
Talking to the press, he said:
“As the local councillor you can imagine I have an inbox that can only be described as a cesspit. I’ve had abuse from all over the world.
“On the messages I have received I have tended to ignore those that are aggressive, nasty or contain outright allegations of ‘corruption’, ‘backhanders’ and ‘you just don’t like him’.
He continued, admitting that he tried to explain the reasoning behind his decision:
“Those that have asked genuine questions I have tried to engage with and offer my own point of view while explaining the finer points of planning law,” he said.
“Some have suggested I made the mistake of being honest from the start, both when the original decision was made and then again when the show was released, by putting out a statement to try and say what happened.
“But it’s difficult to explain in a few posts a decision that encapsulated hundreds of rules and regulations, very often seemingly saying the opposite thing.”
He doesn’t blame Clarkson, however. Instead he’s putting the blame on his fans:
“I believe Jeremy has behaved in a very fair and honest way.
“The episode that showed the decision had two councillors speaking in favour and two against. And it showed that the vote was indeed quite close.
“He had an opportunity with his social media presence and an international show to use his influence to make life very difficult for us councillors but he has not.
“He has behaved like a gentleman and I personally consider him to have gone up in my estimation.”
“While the show, like most reality shows, borders the line between entertainment and factual, in this part he was fair and balanced.
“Sadly some of his fans haven’t followed his example which is not his fault.”
Clarkson’s Farm, now available on Prime Video, documents Jeremy Clarkson’s long-standing disputes with the council regarding planning permission. Following the show’s premiere, the council released a statement, emphasizing its legal obligation to ensure that all planning policies are followed correctly. The council also claimed to have worked alongside the owners and planning agents of Diddly Squat for over two years in a bid to find a positive resolution.
Obviously, this was met with heavy criticism from fans as they identified the obvious witch hunt against their favourite presenter.