Diddly Squat Farm: Jermey Clarkson neighbours back car park plan amid claims congested road is danger to kids
Neighbours of Jeremy Clarkson have united to back his plans for a new car park at Diddly Squat Farm and say visitors are posing a danger to local schoolchildren.
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The television presenter is currently seeking a solution to his woes by applying for a temporary car park at his farm after his original plans for a permanent one were blocked by West Oxfordshire District Council. He has applied for planning permission to use a 60m by 32m area field adjacent to the farm shop for around 70 vehicles until January 2025.
In planning documents linked to his latest application, neighbours have now pleaded with West Oxfordshire District Council to allow it to proceed as the number of visitors with no-where to legally park is causing major safety issues. Parents on the school-run say they routinely have "no-where to go" and one mum said she even had to crash into a hedge last week to avoid a serious collision
Clarkson’s Farm season two, on Amazon Prime shows the former Top Gear presenter struggling to please members of West Oxfordshire District Council, having plans for a restaurant and permanent car park for his farm shop rejected. The previous proposal for a car park was rejected as it would have been "visually intrusive" and have had a "harmful impact on the rural character, scenic beauty and tranquillity of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty", according to the council.
One neighbour who lives directly opposite Clarkson, said: "I and at least ten others drive past four times a day to take our children to and from Chadlington School. I have absolutely no objection to Mr Clarkson’s farm, farm shop or restaurant and wish him all the luck with it, the problem I and many others have is the parking.
"Many times we’ve not been able to get to and from the school where visitors to Diddly Squat have parked both sides of the verges, not allowing space for cars to drive past and certainly no space should an emergency vehicle need to get through, posing a significant risk to residents if Chadlington. Many times I’ve had to come to a sudden and abrupt stop as parked cars have swung open doors onto the road without looking and other times as people just walk out into the road between the parked cars.
"Just last week a mini bus drove around a parked coach onto my side of the road and I had to drive into the hedge to avoid being hit by the mini bus head on. My children were in the car on the way home from school and shaken up - the mini bus driver did not stop to check us. Thankfully we were all OK and my husband repaired our car. Mr Clarkson needs permission for a car park as the parking on the road and verges is a massive safety risk."
Her calls were echoed by several other neighbours. Another said: "I take grandchildren to and from Chadlington school and many times I can not get through because of cars parked both sides. It is not safe at all and the only solution is to allow him the car park."
Another neighbour added: "I take my three boys to and from the primary school in Chadlington. The car parking situation is horrific, I struggle to get past most times and regularly have to make emergency stops to avoid colliding with pedestrians who just dart out into traffic without looking.”
A spokesperson for Clarkson said a short-term solution was needed while they continue to battle for a more permanent solution. They said: "Whilst there is an application for a permanent car park currently at appeal, the decision on that may be some time away. This application therefore proposes a temporary change of use of one area of land to the shop adjacent to facilitate safe and convenient parking to meet this short term demand.”