After a long fight with the council, Jeremy Clarkson was finally able to get his way and start his own Diddly Squat Farm restaurant. It’s been very successful after opening to the public, but now it’s been revealed that it’s under investigation by the local council.
The restaurant, which the Grand Tour presenter described as “rustic and mostly outdoors”, opened over four weeks ago to huge success. Customers must book, and there is no menu available to peruse. Instead, you’re given what’s available that day from Diddly Squat Farm itself. It doesn’t sell vegetarian or vegan food, but caters to those who love meat, especially beef.
Talking to the Oxford Mail, West Oxfordshire District Council said:
“The council was made aware of the restaurant opening at Diddly Squat Farm.
“As part of our standard operating procedure, we have been looking into the operation to ensure it is compliant with local and national planning law and policies, as well as licensing and food hygiene regulations.
“We cannot comment on any ongoing investigations.”
The Clarkson’s Farm presenter struggled to get permission to open his restaurant thanks to complaints from the council and local neighbours, but eventually he was able to “find a loophole” which has allowed him to further diversify his farming revenue.
“We found a cunning little loophole,” he told the press. “It’s a weight off my shoulders and it appeals to my anti-establishment bent. You can write to your council and inform them that you are changing a barn’s use, it’s called permitted development.
“We happen to have a barn which met every single one of the criteria. You have to prove it’s a viable business. We sent the council an email on Wednesday night and on Thursday it was like something from Challenge Anneka to get it ready.”
It’s not like most restaurants, with the OpenTable reservation website stating:
“Ordering a beer or going to the lavatory isn’t as easy as in your local pub… We’ve done our best to keep you warm and dry.”
Those who eat there will also have to agree to potentially be filmed for the upcoming series of Clarkson’s Farm.