If you’ve been anywhere near social media recently, you’ll know that Jeremy Clarkson’s farm is proving more than a little controversial.
But now the farm’s arch-nemesis has insisted that his campaign against Diddly Squat stems from ‘nothing personal’ against the former Top Gear host.
Hamish Dewar, a resident in the farm’s location of Chadlington, is mentioned in episode five of the latest season of Clarkson’s Farm.
The former Top Gear presenter’s agent and advisor Charlie Ireland explains Hamish has ’employed a London planning barrister to submit his objections on the application’ to turn a lambing shed into a restaurant on the farm.
Now, Dewar has launched a crowdfunder to support his legal challenge.
It was created with the aim of raising £22,500 in a bid to preserve the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) that Dewar claims Diddly Squat is at risk of ruining.
At the time of writing, the crowdfunding petition has raised £19,700 and counting with 27 days left to go.
The petition reads: “I am hoping to prevent Jeremy Clarkson changing the use of a ‘Lambing Shed’ into a cafe and restaurant.
“As I understand it, the shed has had minimal agricultural use and has been a ‘Trojan Horse’ for far bigger aspirations.
“I believe this is an abuse of the planning system and a threat to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
“I am hoping to raise funds to bring a legal case to ensure that celebrity and wealth alone cannot force through a planning application without the case of those with reasonable, and passionate, objections, being taken into account.”
Dewar then took the opportunity to emphasise that he was only acting in the best interests of the area and insisted he wasn’t waging a personal war against Clarkson.
He added: “I must stress that this is not a personal vendetta against Jeremy Clarkson, who has many supporters in Chadlington who disagree with my stance.
“He has the platform, primarily in the Sunday Times, to put across his case – but also has the wherewithal, and apparent inclination, to be an inspiration for regenerative agriculture.
“If he can be stopped from pursuing what is, again in my opinion, a really daft idea, and focus on responsible farming, the world will, in one tiny corner of the Cotswolds, be a better place.”
The petition comes after Clarkson already found himself in hot water with the local council, who argued that he breached planning regulations with the diner on his farm.
West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) severed him a planning notice in August of last year to remove all portaloos and tables from the barn to bring it back in line with planning regulations.
A statement from the WODC read: “Council officers have worked with the owner and planning agents of the business, over many months, to investigate breaches in planning control, advising on how the business can be operated in a lawful way and trying to reach a solution.
“The business continues to operate outside the planning permissions granted and advice has been ignored. The activity has also had a significant impact on the local community.”
This ultimately saw Clarkson drop his bid to open a restaurant on the site, as was reported last month.
Despite this development, Dewar argues in his petition that Clarkson ‘is still appealing against all the enforcement orders and the threat to our area of outstanding beauty is undiminished’.
He explained he still plans to use the money to legally challenge Clarkson’s plans to develop Diddly Squat as ‘even if he did intend to cease the restaurant use, the breaches of planning control go much wider than this’.
LADbible has reached out to WODC for further comment.