Jeremy Clarkson raged on live TV about the “not terribly bright people” in planning departments in West Oxfordshire.
The celebrity owner of Diddly Squat Farm in Chadlington, near Chipping Norton, said “no” is the council’s answer to “everything” when it comes to his property.
The 62-year-old broadcaster is trying to extend the car park at his farm, popular with visitors since his Amazon Studios series Clarkson’s Farm came out last June.
In an interview with TalkTV’s The News Desk, Clarkson said: “You know, these, how can I put it, not terribly bright people in planning departments, just don’t understand what they’re messing around with.
“And I’m seeing the results."
"I don’t know what you have to do, but I simply can’t get planning permission for anything, which is infuriating."
"Maybe I should buy an apron and join the Masons."
Listing a few examples of his frustration the TV presenter said he had to change the green tin roof on his shop to a more expensive slate, and couldn't sell milk from five miles away or build a farm track or car park.
The success of the series has seen people flock to the farm shop but neighbours have been left annoyed by the number of shoppers who have queued for hours to purchase goods and cars parked on the road.
Asked about what he wants the Government to do to help farmers, Clarkson said that the scope local farmers should have to build without notifying local planning authorities should be bigger.
He said: “I think that farmers shouldn’t be allowed to build solar farms or housing estates without proper local consultation obviously.
“But I just think that the government should enable farmers to alter buildings of, say 500 square metres, without necessarily having to go to local planners, who are inevitably swayed by people in the village who wear red trousers and make fools of themselves and object.
“If they’re going to say to farmers ‘You must diversify’, they must say to local authorities ‘And you’ve got to let them’.”
In March, Clarkson reapplied for planning permission for a car park extension on his farm but it was rejected this month by West Oxfordshire District Council prompting his fury.
The council refused based on the location, size and design of the proposed development saying it would “not be sustainable and would not be compatible or consistent in scale with the existing farming business or its open countryside location and would have a visually intrusive and harmful impact on the rural character, scenic beauty and tranquillity of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”.
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