Jeremy Clarkson accused of selling non-local produce at his farm shop

Helena Horton
·2 min read
Jeremy Clarkson has written much about his farm - STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Jeremy Clarkson has written much about his farm - STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images

Jeremy Clarkson has become embroiled in a row with his local district council, which is accusing him of selling non-local products in his farm shop.

The former Top Gear presenter has opened a farm shop on his land at Chadlington, Oxfordshire, where he has been selling his home-grown vegetables and other local delicacies.

The conditions of his planning application for the store at Diddly Squat Farm stipulated that produce ''shall be solely limited to goods and produce grown, reared and produced on the holding or from local producers''.

However,  Chadlington Parish Council has accused the presenter-turned-farmer of selling food that is not from the local area.

They also took issue with the colour of the slates on the roof of the hut, arguing a green steel sheet which wasn't approved by the local council had been used for the roof. Mr Clarkson thus had to reapply for planning permission, which was granted on Monday.

A chiding letter from the council reads: "Chadlington Parish Council has no objection to the actual building plans submitted however it would like to bring to the attention of WODC that conditions of the original planning application have not been adhered to.

"It clearly states that goods retailed from the farm shop shall be solely limited to goods and produce grown, reared and produced on the holding or from local producers that are based solely within WODC boundaries and this has not been the case.

"Despite assurances to the local shops in the village that there would be no direct competition, this is not happening."

The Telegraph has contacted Mr Clarkson for a response to the letter.

The presenter opened the shop on his £4m farm with much fanfare earlier in the year, with humorous signs erected advertising that the food would cost "less than Aldi".

However, council officials were less impressed than the public by his venture, and have sent multiple complaints, including that hay bales stacked around the 1,000 acre property are a "covid-19 risk".

In response to this, the farmer told The Sun: “It’s only a little shop but it employs five people and buys cakes, milk, bread, sausage rolls and so on from locals who would otherwise be out of a job.

"In this recession, I’m sure West Oxfordshire council will want to help.”

The television presenter has documented his life as a beginner farmer, and documented his mistakes as well as his triumphs. 

He has faced broken-down tractors, barley-munching sheep escaping into his fields, and numerous crop failures.

However, he appears to be enjoying farm life, having described himself on Instagram as "the broad bean king of Chipping Norton."