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Jeremy Clarkson suffers setback in Cotswolds farm shop planning bid

Jeremy Clarkson has suffered a setback in his bid to widen the area in which he can source goods for his 'non-organic' Cotswolds farm shop.

The Grand Tour host had asked to adapt tough planning rules on his Diddly Squat Farm in Chadlington, Oxfordshire.

The rules restricted the 'Squat Shop' at his £4.25million farm to sell only 'locally produced' goods sourced from within the West Oxfordshire area.

But, in a move which infuriated parish councillors, the 60-year-old, who lives on at the farm with partner Lisa Hogan, asked to expand the area to a 30 mile radius.

Now the ex-Top Gear presenter has been forced to settle for a radius of 16 miles, after district council chiefs cut back his proposals.

It comes after Chadlington Parish Council launched a scathing attack on Clarkson stating the plans would undermine the 'viability' of businesses within the Oxfordshire village.

The Grand Tour host had asked to adapt tough planning rules on his Diddly Squat Farm in Chadlington, Oxfordshire

The rules restricted the shop at Clarkson's £4.25million farm (pictured) to sell only 'locally produced' goods sourced from within a three miles radius

In a move which infuriated parish councillors, the 60-year-old, who lives on at the farm (pictured: A sign for the farm) with partner Lisa Hogan, asked to expand the area the shop can source produce from to a 30 mile radius

Under the planning rules, the shop can sell meat, vegetables, fruit, flowers, bread and cakes, eggs and dairy products as well as farm and woodland based products.

The 'locally-sourced' alcohol Jeremy Clarkson could sell at Diddly Squat Farm  

Jeremy Clarkson has also recently applied to have an alcohol licence for the farm.

If approved these local breweries could be seen at Diddly Squat Farm:

Wytchwood, Witney

The popular brewery, owned by Marston's sells British favourites Hobgoblin and King Goblin.

It produces around 50,000 barrels of cask ale each year.

Pictured: Wytchwood beer

Little Ox, Witney 

Brewing a variety of IPA's and pale ale, Little Ox emerged as a fusion of two fledgling breweries in West Oxfordshire. 

Pictured: Little Ox beer

But parish councillors feared the move to expand the sourcing radius would impact on the village's businesses.

In its objection, Chadlington Parish Council said: 'Much of this could not be considered as being 'in the locality.'

'The large increase in area, within which goods can be sourced and sold, is unreasonable and is likely to result in the undermining the viability of existing shops in the village, namely Chadlington Quality Foods, Chadlington Butchers and The Cafe De La Post.

'Our concern must be to support the existing shops in the village. These facilities are essential to many, particularly those who rely on being able to walk to them.'

The parish council objected to the applicant's claims the farmshop should be treated as a Market Co-operative and benefit from a 30 mile radius.

The spokesperson added: 'It is a permanent shop that will be in competition with the local shops of the village. For these reasons the Parish Council objects to the variation of the condition.'

Original regulations stated that things sold at the store 'shall be solely limited to goods and produce grown, reared and produced on the holding or from local producers'.

This restriction was designated as the West Oxfordshire District boundaries, which represented an area of 275sq miles.

Clarkson's team's proposed extension to 30 miles would cover a total of 2828sq miles.

A spokesperson for the applicants said: 'We do not challenge the intent of the condition to limit the goods sold from the premises to a limited area, but do submit that it may be met in a different way.

'There are a number of alternatives that are employed elsewhere, however we consider a reasonable alternative would be to employ a condition that has a similar effect to that used by the Thames Valley Farmers Market Co-operative.

'The Co-operative have markets in Witney, Woodstock, Charlbury and Chipping Norton and thus serve the local community of this part of the uplands area of West Oxfordshire in a very similar fashion to the farm shop.

'The Co-operative have strict guidelines as to who can sell produce at their markets based. Their definition of a local producer is based on a radius of 30 miles from the market location. We propose to substitute that for the District boundary in varying this condition.'

West Oxfordshire District Council granted removal of the condition - but limited the distance to a radius of 16 miles.

Around 100 people turned up to grab produce grown on Clarkson's land last February - with a humourous sign promising prices would be 'less than Aldi'

The story of how he launched the store - named so because of the poor crop yields on the surrounding land - will feature in a forthcoming Amazon Prime show, which has the working title I Bought The Farm

According to the shop's website, it is a 'small barn full of good, no-nonsense things you'll like. We do not, for example, sell kale. Pictured: Clarkson inside the shop

In publishing the decision, a spokesperson acknowledged this was an 'exception to the normal policies of restraint upon retailing in an open countryside location.'

But they added: 'This was solely on the basis that the nature of the goods sold being ancillary and related to the farming operations in the locality.'

The development has been subject to previous controversy when he was forced to reapply for permission for certain aspects of the shop - including the roof- because it was built with the wrong type of material.

Officials discovered that a green steel sheet which wasn't approved by the local council had been used for the roof. Retrospective permission was later granted.

Diddly Squat Farm - named so because of the poor crop yields on the surrounding land - opened to the public in February last year.

Around 100 people turned up to grab produce grown on Clarkson's land - with a humorous sign promising prices would be 'less than Aldi'.

The application also included plans for a lambing shed and a request for film-making to be allowed on the 350-hectare site.

It is understood that Clarkson is set to front an Amazon Prime series about his experiences with farming as as 'inept townie'.

Several locals voiced their objections to the plans when approval was first sought.

But 'The Grand Tour' host took it in his stride and said he didn't blame those who were complaining - adding 'otherwise what is the point in planning permission'.

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