Jeremy Clarkson has recently been instructed by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) to close the Diddly Squat Farm café and restaurant and the Clarkson’s Farm presenter has now spoken out after this led to him having to sell all of his adult cows.
Clarkson was forced to close the restaurant and café when WODC said it “breached planning laws”, is an “unlawful” use of farmland, and is “incompatible with its countryside location”. The restaurant was opened after Clarkson found a loophole in the planning permission rules.
The Grand Tour host has appealed the decision but in the meantime has explained that he has been left with no choice but to sell all of his adult cows, leaving their calves struggling without their mothers.
Clarkson explained in his latest column for The Sun:
“[The council order] means I’ve had to sell all my adult cows, which were going to be used to make the beef, leaving only their calves in the fields.
“Except they’re not in the fields. Without parental control, they are in my flower beds, my orchard, my neighbour’s drive and all over the A361.
“And every morning I’m woken at 5am by the sound of them crying. They can’t understand why their mums have gone. And, if I’m honest, neither can I.”
The appeal process is likely to take six weeks, according to farm representatives, who have said this will have serious impacts on the business. The appeal explains:
“The suggested six-week period is too short and would have serious and detrimental impacts on the business and livelihoods of those employed at the site.
“Six months is a more reasonable timeframe.”
A representative from WODC has spoken out about the situation. They explained:
“Council officers have worked with the owner and planning agents of the business, over many months, to investigate breaches in planning control, advising on how the business can be operated in a lawful way and trying to reach a solution.
“The business continues to operate outside the planning permissions granted and advice has been ignored.
“The activity has also had a significant impact on the local community.”