The decision to grant approval for the extension of Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm Shop has been described as "the lesser of two evils". 

When Jeremy Clarkson and Lisa Hogan opened Diddly Squat Farm Shop in 2020, they saw an immediate insurgence of visitors from all across the world, who were keen to try the ‘no-nonsense’ local produce seen in their favourite Amazon Prime TV series Clarkson's Farm.

But as the number of visitors quickly stacked up, so did their cars. 

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Queues to wander around the shop can be up to two and a half hours long. 

Despite this, West Oxfordshire District Council initially refused to grant Mr Clarkson permission to extend the car park, based on concerns for the impact on the local community at Chadlington. 

The decision in June to allow the extension has caused a mixed reaction among the village’s residents. 

Oxford Mail: Jeremy Clarkson outside his Diddly Squat farm shop in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

Dean Temple, district councillor for Chadlington and Churchill, said: “People move to the area because it’s beautiful, so if you build something it’s got to look good. 

“The car park was a good idea, and it definitely came with the best intentions. 

“It’s more that his best intentions haven’t gone according to plan. 

“It’s not ideal, but it’s the lesser of two evils, and I’m hoping it will relieve stress.” 

The lack of parking space had previously meant that visitors were parking on the side of the narrow country road out of Chadlington, creating blockages that had made it more difficult for locals to travel to work, school, or the doctors'. 

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But as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), locals also worry that building a car park would be a potential disruption of the Cotswolds’ famous landscape views. 

According to council members, Mr Clarkson had no intention of causing disturbance when developing his business, and he recognised how essential the Cotswolds’ natural beauty is for attracting visitors. 

He claimed that this was all the more reason to allow the extension, as the completion of the car park would be less disruptive than having cars on the roadside. 

One of Mr Clarkson’s initial proposals to minimise the car park’s impact on nature included the use of gravel, although it is uncertain whether or not this was approved. 

Oxford Mail: Parking on the verges near the farm shopParking on the verges near the farm shop

Meanwhile, multiple local businesses refused to comment on the extension when contacted by the Oxford Mail. 

Many said Mr Clarkson had nothing to do with them and appeared to want to shy away from the topic. 

It comes as Diddly Squat Farm Shop has announced it will be featuring at the Silverstone Festival during the August bank holiday weekend.