Jeremy Clarkson confirms planning permission row was for Clarkson Farm ‘storyline’

Jeremy Clarkson confirms planning permission row was for Clarkson Farm ‘storyline’

Jeremy Clarkson has admitted his planning permission row with his local council helped make a pivotal storyline for his series Clarkson’s Farm.

The former Top Gear star, 63, has been followed by cameras over the past few years after he decided to try his hand at farming after purchasing land in the Cotswolds.

He’s faced plenty of hurdles along the way, not least regularly being told off by farming contractor Kaleb Cooper, 25, but one of his most difficult tasks has been dealing with local authorities.

From extending the car park at his Diddly Squat farm shop to attempting to open a restaurant on-site, Jeremy has had uphill battles at times.

Now he’s revealed a farmer friend told him that any stoushes about planning permission would make for brilliant TV.

In his latest column, Jeremy recalled how after the first season of the show aired he was told: ‘If you want a storyline for the next series, try getting planning permission for something.”’‘I was a bit puzzled and asked what he meant by “something”.

‘“Anything,” he replied. “It doesn’t matter. Because I guarantee you’ll be turned down.”’

He then went on to write in The Sun column that despite farmers being told to diversify by the government due to being about to lose EU grants and subsidies, their attempts were being met with little support.

‘If a farmer tries to do that, his local council will say no,’ he continued.

Then reflecting on his own experiences, Jeremy wrote about ‘how right’ his friend was.

After attempting to get planning permission to turn an existing building on his property into a restaurant – that would ‘serve the beef, lamb, beer and potatoes that we grow on the farm’- Jeremy said the response was like he’d asked permission ‘to build Studio 54’.

‘As my farming friend had predicted, the council went berserk and did everything in its power to stop me,’ he said.

‘And it wasn’t just the restaurant, either. They even turned their guns on my little farm shop, firing so many heavy salvoes that, even today, I’m not allowed to sell my own farming books in there.’

After meeting with the ‘man in charge’ of Britain’s planning rules at the time, Michael Gove, Jeremy said someone in the room responded in a way he didn’t expect and backed his calls, with the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently announcing red tape would be cut so farmers can open farm shops and sports facilities much more easily.

But, not missing his chance for a subtle dig, Jeremy quipped that the PM would have to move quickly as ‘soon he will be gone’.

He then said in his place would be a ‘tribe of barely coherent weird beards who think the countryside should be one big open space for the cagouley Kumbaya brigade’ and that instead of buying locally grown food in locally run shops, we should import ‘all the avocadoes and quinoa we need from South America and sell them at artisanal health food outlets in Islington’.

In May, the third season of Clarkson’s Farm will hit screens, however as always, the team face more than a few challenges.

After Jeremy’s hopes for the restaurant were dashed, he will also deal with ‘crops failing in the severe hot weather and inflation driving prices of supplies sky high’.

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