Jeremy Clarkson will come face-to-face with angry villagers at a public meeting to answer concerns about his plans to develop his farm shop.
The controversial TV presenter, 61, called the meeting at the Memorial Hall in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, after hearing rumours of concerns about his exceptionally popular farm shop.
The popularity of Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime has led to queues for the Diddly Squat Farm Shop, with neighbours growing concerned after hundreds of enthusiastic fans started queuing outside his estate.
The former Top Gear co-host has now applied for planning permission to develop the site, while villagers still remain divided over the impact of the shop on the community.
Jeremy Clarkson (pictured) called a meeting at the Memorial Hall in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, at 7pm after hearing rumours of concerns about his exceptionally popular farm shop
In a bid to quash his neighbours’ fears, Mr Clarkson invited the local community to join him in the village hall on Thursday at 7pm to discuss the farm shop and enjoy cheese and wine.
Posters around Chadlington read: ‘As there seems to be some debate in the village about what’s going on at Diddly Squat, Jeremy Clarkson will be at the Memorial Hall to explain his plans and to take any questions you may have.
‘Everybody from the area is welcome to attend. Cheese and wine will be provided.’
Initially posted on the village community Facebook page, one person suggested that the meeting would be packed, joking that Mr Clarkson might need a larger venue like the Royal Albert Hall.
Fans from all over the country have been queuing up for two-and-a-half hours to get inside the Diddly Squat shop since the launch of the hit Amazon Prime show Clarkson’s Farm, provoking some complaints from neighbours.
Police were even called out to manage traffic chaos in June, caused by hundreds of Jeremy Clarkson fans descending on his farm in the hope of meeting him and to check out his stock, which includes honey, chutney and T-shirts.
To quell his neighbours’ fears, Mr Clarkson has invited the local community (poster pictured) to join him in the village hall at 7pm to discuss the farm shop and enjoy cheese and wine
The popularity of Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime has led to queues for the Diddly Squat Farm Shop, with neighbours growing concerned with the increase in traffic in the area
Villagers are divided over the impact of the shop, which opened less than a year ago, with some saying it has put Chadlington on the map and boosted the local economy.
Mr Clarkson has now applied for planning permission to develop the site, despite existing concerns from neighbours about the popularity of the shop.
Chadlington Parish Council said it had no objections but, if approved, the application should not confirm a change of use status for this agricultural building.
It pointed out that in November 2020, an application had been made to convert a lambing shed adjacent to the shop into a café and in February 2021 for a licence to sell alcohol and provide entertainment.
It added: ‘The parish council remains concerned regarding the effect of the incremental development at this location, both upon the local community, its existing shops and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
‘The number of cars currently visiting this site is already substantial, often filling the existing available parking space and overflowing onto the Chipping Norton Road, which is hardly desirable in an AONB and creates a significant risk that accidents will occur.’
Searches for homes to buy in Chadlington jumped by 511 per cent in June 2021, when compared to the same period in 2020, according to property website Rightmove.
The website suggested viewers have been captivated by the local countryside and looked at homes for sale in and around the area where Clarkson’s Farm is filmed.
On Clarkson’s Farm, Jeremy works on his 1,000 acre plot of land, located between Chipping Norton and Chadlington in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside in Oxfordshire.
The former petrol-head appears to have settled for a serene farming lifestyle as part of his new hit Amazon Prime series.
Chadlington residents were left horrified as large queues formed on the usually quiet country roads in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside
Those in attendance didn’t seem to mind though, with several tweeting about the ‘great atmosphere’ on display
But the show’s roaring success – and the opening of Clarkson’s popular Diddly Squat Farm Shop – has created chaos for villagers who are more accustomed to cows than congestion.
Speaking previously about the farm shop’s success, Mr Clarkson said: ‘I mean, if we’d built a nuclear power station I could understand their concerns, but not a tiny farm shop.’
The broadcaster bought the plot of land in 2008 and Clarkson’s Farm follows the presenter’s highs and lows of tackling the 1,000 acre working farm.
The presenter recently revealed he was ‘the happiest he has ever been’ and that he ‘loved every second’ of filming the new hit show.
His Diddly Squat shop is described as a ‘small barn full of good, no-nonsense things’ on its official website.
The Amazon Prime series follows an intense and frequently hilarious year in the life of Britain’s most unlikely farmer and his team, as they contend with the worst farming weather in decades, disobedient animals, unresponsive crops, and an unexpected pandemic.