Councillor who voted against Diddly Squat restaurant believes Jeremy Clarkson was 'treated fairly'
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One of the biggest points of drama in the second series of Clarkson's Farm was the battle to get permission to build a restaurant at the Diddly Squat farm.
The TV presenter-turned-farmer wanted to renovate his lambing shed into a restaurant and sell the produce from his farm and others in the area.
Jeremy Clarkson went to great effort to try and win over locals in the hopes of getting council approval, but he was ultimately unsuccessful in getting the green light for his restaurant.
By the end of the second series of Clarkson's Farm, it looked like the restaurant would go ahead after all following the apparent discovery of a loophole which meant it could be built at another building on the farm.
However, West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) issued Diddly Squat with a list of conditions they demanded be met within six weeks and this deadline passed without them being satisfied, with Clarkson later saying he 'no longer wished' to open a restaurant.
Clarkson had initially appeared to accept the decision to close down his restaurant for good, but now it looks like he's lodged another appeal with a planning inspector set to conduct a hearing about it later this month.
WODC came in for a lot of criticism after the release of Clarkson's Farm season two and councillor Dean Temple, who represents Chadlington, says he has received abuse 'from all over the world'.
He said: "As the local councillor you can imagine I have an inbox that can only be described as a cesspit. I've had abuse from all over the world.
"On the messages I have received I have tended to ignore those that are aggressive, nasty or contain outright allegations of 'corruption', 'backhanders' and 'you just don’t like him'.
"Those that have asked genuine questions I have tried to engage with and offer my own point of view while explaining the finer points of planning law."
Temple said he found it 'difficult to explain' the complicated process in a decision which involved 'hundreds of rules and regulations' over the internet.
He only limits his ire to fans who have been sending abuse, saying Clarkson 'behaved like a gentleman' and conducted himself in a 'very fair and honest way', while the abuse from some of his fans is 'not his fault'.
The councillor believes Clarkson was treated 'very fairly' and said the vote to approve or deny plans for a restaurant at Diddly Squad was 'quite close'.
West Oxfordshire District Council have faced accusations of 'pursuing a personal vendetta' against Clarkson, and issued a statement responding to criticism following the latest season of the Prime Video show.
They said: "We understand that the planning process shown in Season 2 of Clarkson's Farm can seem obstructive and that people will be confused by the planning decisions at Diddly Squat Farm.
"As with any other planning authority, we have a legal responsibility to make sure that planning laws and policies are followed correctly by everyone to manage development and protect local communities and the environment."
"This is regardless of who they are and we treat Diddly Squat Farm no differently."
The second season of Clarkson's Farm is available to stream on Prime Video.