Television presenter-turned-farmer Jeremy Clarkson had his proposal for a 60-seat cafe or restaurant at Diddly Squat Farm in Chadlington rejected by West Oxfordshire District Council.

Mr Clarkson joined the meeting in Witney with his land agent, Charlie Ireland, to plead his case for a new eatery and 70-space car park.

Some 70 objections to the plans were made online, including representations from solicitors Leigh Day, with just 17 in support.

Here is a flavour of the reasons why people objected.

Ms Johanna Hooley, of Chadlington: Visitors park along the verges making it impossible for two way traffic. Mud all over the road making it very slippery and dangerous. People walking down the middle of the road, and I personally have been sworn at to get out of their way. The extra traffic in the village and traffic travelling at speed has more than doubled on the days the shop is opened.

Miss Kerrie Wiggins, Chadlington: The road is becoming unsafe with the sheer amount of traffic that is being brought into the village and on the way out. Cars are travelling at high speed through the village. The road has been made unsafe due to debris from the verges. If an emergency vehicle needed to get through they would not be able to. Having a restaurant would cause more traffic and disruption for longer periods of time.

Mr Freddie Magee, Chadlington: As has been displayed in recent days the plot is not fit to accommodate a number of people required to make the cafe/restaurant viable. The junction off the A361 is high speed and dangerous and it's only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs. 

Mr Shaun Didcock, Chadlington: An awful mess being made of the grass verges. Reducing access for emergency services to reach the village. Totally out of character for the beautiful area it is situated in. Have lived in Chadlington all of my life, planning permission should be refused, location not fit for purpose.

Mrs Brenda Didcock, Chadlington: This project is spoiling our natural countryside, traffic is a major problem, this conversion is totally wrong in my opinion as this barn was supposed to be purpose built as a lambing shed.

Dr Stuart Gould, Chadlington: Unregulated parking on the road and grass verges has resulted in a number of episodes of blockage of the Chipping Norton Road with long delays to local traffic and buses; only by good fortune has an Emergency Vehicle not been obstructed. Much of this visiting traffic speeds through the village creating risk to pedestrians, particularly to those with children visiting the playground along the road from the farm shop.

Even if the plans increase parking on the farm shop site, traffic flow through the village is only likely to increase further. When this on-site parking is full, parking on the Chipping Norton Road will continue with its attendant hazards.

Mrs Janice Brice, Chipping Norton: Although not a resident of Chadlington, my husband and I need to visit our daughters, one of whom has a disability, fairly often and therefore we have seen the chaos caused on the road down to the village, particularly at weekends and Bank Holidays. Yesterday (30/12/21) was a particularly bad experience, with traffic queued just off the A361 junction and very many cars parked on the A361 as well as the road to the village. 

Mr David Byrne, Chadlington: Unless action is taken there will be a fatality. This business is in an unsuitable spot, it is on a blind corner on a hill. Emergency services are being prevented from attending the village of Chadlington. It is likely that this will also cause traffic accidents. The business is changing traditional village life and should never have been approved in the first place. 

Mrs J Simkins: The roads into and through the village of Chadlington do not have the capacity to accommodate this vast number of vehicles, which have amounted to 1,000s additional per day in peak season. In addition, visitors to Diddly Squat are not familiar with the hazards of the local rural roads. Entering Chadlington village from the Diddly Squat site, just within the 30mph limit, there is a blind bend, with a children’s playground on the right hand side. At this location, as a regular walker, I have witnessed several road traffic incidents. The most serious being in October, when a car approached at high speed towards a school cycling proficiency lesson with a dozen children on the road, a few who were at risk of serious injury or death, if the car had not been alerted to stop. 

Visitors to Diddly Squat use [Mill End in the village] as a circuit to avoid the queues of traffic at the A361 junction, and in peak times the traffic count can be as many as 60 cars per minute, for large parts of the day. [The junction with the A361] is unsafe, as evidenced by recent recorded road traffic collisions on 11th July 2021 and 15th September 2021. In peak times, in summer, and as recorded by residents recently in December the queues for the Diddly Squat site have extended onto the A361, and at times in both directions, causing stationary vehicles, people getting out of their cars to walk on this dangerous road. 

Mrs Helen Hoffman, Chadlington: There is no reason why a new restaurant should not be permitted however in the light of the problems local people are experiencing as a result of the influx of visitors to Diddly Squat Farm Shop it is imperative, should permission be granted, that the infrastructure is in place.

The current problems relate to: - Poor access and exit facility - The amount of mud being dragged onto the road which I believe the owner is responsible for cleaning. This is not being done with the result that the junction to the A361 is very dangerous due to being slippery. - dangerous parking on the road and visitors doing u turns all over the place - visitors speeding through the village with no consideration for the local people.

With visitors to the farm shop queuing for hours to enter will there then be visitors with or without reservations queuing for hours to get a table at the restaurant?

Mr Clarkson made no arrangements to mitigate the problems associated with the influx of visitors to the farm shop so is unlikely to do anything in respect of the proposed restaurant. And I fear this is but another stepping stone to apply for his next project at DS. Project application creep.

The impact on his neighbours is far from Mr Clarkson's mind and the meeting he recently held at the village hall, which I attended, did not give me the confidence that he cared. It may bring employment to the area but most such establishments in the area are bringing staff in from other areas.

A celebrity owned restaurant is going to be a major magnet especially in the light of all the press and social media surrounding Mr Clarkson and one not necessarily beneficial to the local people of Chadlington. Thank you.

Mr John Poole, Chipping Norton: This application is totally at variance with the rural area in which it is placed. It is fully understood that we are not living in a wilderness and that the existence of towns and villages, with the appropriate buildings, amenities etc, is vital and inescapable. But, urban sprawl is always on the agenda. The underlying principle of the applicants is that the whole of the natural world exists to be exploited for personal gain and profit. This must be robustly challenged everywhere: local, national and beyond. 

Maggie Jackman, of Chadlington: "Further to my earlier objection comment I would like to add a complete lack of trust that the applicants will adhere to any planning conditions given.

With regard to the farm shop none of the conditions given on 11th December 2020 have been adhered to and the shop is now heavily promoting through their social media platforms and selling Diddly Squat souvenirs unlikely to have been manufactured within a 16 mile radius of the shop.

I refer to the WODC Notice of Decision, neither are souvenirs referred to in clause 7 of the document. Therefore I have no faith that any further permitted development would comply with any regulations.