Farmers and rural organisations in Oxfordshire have reacted to plans for a "Clarkson-style" relaxation of planning rules.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would allow farmers to open shops and other amenities without full planning permission in a speech to the National Farmers' Union on Tuesday (February 20).

The move is apparently inspired by former Top Gear star-turned farmer Jeremy Clarkson's disputes with the West Oxfordshire District Council planning authority.

READ MORE: Oxford United Football Club plans for new stadium submitted

These included the rejection of plans to open a restaurant at Diddly Squat Farm as well as the dismissal of separate proposals for a pickleball court.

Farmer Bill Homewood, from Peach Croft Farm in South Oxfordshire, said: "We've actually got a farm shop and we're very diversified so the plans wouldn't affect us that much.

Oxford Mail: Bill out standing in his wet field.Bill out standing in his wet field. (Image: Contribution.)

"But I am happy if it helps other farmers."

Mr Homewood favoured the Conservative Party over its Labour opposition saying it was the "best of a bad bunch"

"The Conservatives generally favour landowning people.

"A general relaxation of planning permission and constraints on farms should be welcomed," he said.

But the trader of turkeys and geese added: "Farmers are experiencing the devastating effect of livestock and machinery theft and fly tipping.

"I believe the government should put more money into helping specialist rural crime teams, to help an already overworked police force do their job."

Mr Homewood suggested Mr Clarkson had experienced some "similar challenges" to what farmers had.

Chair of the Oxfordshire Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Richard Harding, said he would be slightly cautious about a relaxation of planning rules.

Oxford Mail: Mr Clarkson on his land.Mr Clarkson on his land. (Image: Prime Video.)

"We have to be a bit careful not to allow unbridled development across the countryside.

"There have been some quite bad examples such as plans for a massive static caravan park beneath the white horse in the Vale of White Horse.

"To allow anything to go on I think would be very bad."

Mr Harding added that the group "certainly supported rural businesses and the ability for them to diversify their activities".

Booking co-ordinator at the East Oxford Farmers' Market, Elise Benjamin, had the double perspective of overseeing a farmers market while having previously been chair on the city council planning committee "in a previous life".

She said: "We can't concrete over everything.

"If farmers are allowed to build without needing full planning permission, will they build what is actually needed?"

Oxford Mail: The East Oxford Farmers' Market.The East Oxford Farmers' Market. (Image: Contribution.)

"I support a planning system that allows farmers to survive to increase their produce if possible whilst not encouraging too much over-development."

Ms Benjamin said that all those with stalls at the east Oxford market lived within a 30-mile distance.

She suggested it was important that farmers could "bring produce to lots of people rather than have lots of people driving out to the farm".

Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat farm gained widespread popularity after its hit Prime Video show aired, Clarkson’s Farm.

The show recently confirmed the release date of its upcoming new season which will launch on May 3 worldwide.