Jeremy Clarkson has not had the best of relationships with his near neighbours since the launch of his Diddly Squat farm.
From complaints about cars blocking the roads to repeated squabbles with local planners the former Top Gear presenter has been at odds with the residents of the Cotswold village of Chadlington.
But a truce has now broken out with many of the residents of the quintessential English village agreeing wholeheartedly with his views that new homes are springing up across the country without much thought to how schools and health services will cope with an influx of people.
In his latest newspaper column Clarkson, 63, railed against developers who build mini estates without adding extra resources for all the new residents.
He cited the expansion of the market town of Chipping Norton, about two miles from his farm in Chadlington, as an example of how the population has more than doubled from when he lived in the market town 30 years ago.
Jeremy Clarkson is once again at loggerheads with local planners and residents over his Diddly Squat Fram – but has a truce been brokered?
Clarkson was ordered to shut down his 60-seater restaurant at the farm (pictured) for breaching planning rules with an appeal also ruled out by council planning chiefs
Jeremy Clarkson has constantly clashed with local authority over plans for his Diddly Squat farm in Chadlington, Oxfordshire
But while there has been an explosion in new homes and the population increased to almost 10,000 essential infrastructure such as doctors and dentists’ surgeries and even schools have not been added.
Residents of Chadlington, who have been vocal in criticism of Clarkson and his hugely popular TV show set on Diddly Squat farm, said he was right to attack the overdevelopment of country villages.
‘I think he has hit the nail on the head,’ said Anna Quayle.
‘If you are going to build more homes, then the other resources have to be built as well. It is all very well for 50 new homes to be thrown up, but where do the children to go to school.
‘Around here it takes a month to get a doctor’s appointment. There are 18,000 people on the list.
‘I don’t often agree with Jeremy Clarkson, but he is right in this instance.’
Tim and Becky Wootton, who have lived in Chadlington for 11 years, said Clarkson was talking sense.
‘There has to be a balance. Everyone accepts that new homes must be built, but the other resources that go with an increase of population must be included, said Becky.
Her husband Tim added:’ More thought has to be given to what makes a village a place people want to live. There have to be facilities for them. Our nearest doctor is in Chipping Norton but you have to wait a month for an appointment. I’d say Clarkson is right.’
Some locals have accused the former Top Gear star of ‘abusing planning laws’
The quaint village of Chadlington in the Cotswolds close to wear Jeremy Clarkson runs his Diddly Squat Farm
Tim and Becky Wootton (pictured), who have lived in Chadlington for 11 years, said Clarkson was talking sense
In his newspaper column Clarkson admitted said he has a parcel of land by the Diddly Squat farm where 50 homes could be built.
But in another sign of a peacekeeping effort with Chadlington residents he said he had no intention of ‘shoehorning’ the homes on to the land. Instead, he said it will be fields of barley.
He even acknowledged that he has ‘p******d’ off villagers with his farm shop with thousands of people flocking to the venue and had no intention of making matters worse.
Clarkson wrote in The Sunday Times: ‘Now if you are reading this in the village of Chadlington, where the field is located, don’t worry. I’ve pissed you off enough with the farm shop, so I’m not going to make things worse by shoehorning a flock of what my grandfather called “ticky tackies” into your midst. You’re getting barley instead.
Michael Jones,75, who was waiting for a bus in Chadlington which has a population of 800, said more homes had to be built without much care and attention of the impact it has on small villages.
He said:’ I think everyone agrees more homes have to be built. No one disputes that, but there must be more thought about the impact they have on the villages.’
Another resident who admitted she was not a big fan of Clarkson begrudgingly accepted he was right to speak out about the overdevelopment of some areas.
‘Jeremy is right on this point, she said.
‘He can be a big mouth but on housing and farming issues he is spot on.
‘It is all very well the Government saying they want to build new homes, but you can’t just have the houses without all the other facilities that follow with an increase in the population.’
Viewers of the TV series visiting Clarkson’s farm shop alleged that he is being victimised
Locals have complained about the number of visitors attracted to the Cotswolds farm
While Clarkson’s fans were 100 per cent behind the outspoken TV presenter, locals in Chadlington have been scathing of his battle with the local council
Another resident who has lived in the village for over 20 years, said Clarkson had a cheek to complain about overcrowding.
‘I do think it is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black’, he said.
‘The success of his TV show has put a spotlight on places like Chadlington and brought so many more people to the village.
‘They are tourists and while shops such as his might benefit it has meant the roads are more crowded.’
The sudden affection for Clarkson from villagers might be due to the fact his farm shop is closed until next month and the road leading to Diddly Squat deserted of traffic.
With the third series of ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ due to air on Amazon on May 3rd the hordes of fans who flock to buy ‘cow juice’ or ‘bee juice’ will again shatter the peace of the village.
Many of the tourists also travel the short distance to Chipping Norton where Clarkson has lamented the decline of the town with local shops giving way to big supermarkets, such as Aldi.
One store owner said it was brave of Clarkson to speak out as she claimed the residents have had little say in how their town has grown.
From complaints about cars blocking the roads to repeated squabbles with local planners Clarkson has been at odds with the residents of the Cotswold village of Chadlington (pictured)
Michael Jones, 75, said more homes had to be built without much care and attention of the impact it has on small villages
‘So little thought has been given to the facilities that will be available to people who move into the new homes,’ said one long established store owner who asked not to be named.
‘Clarkson is right. Chipping Norton has changed, and I would not say for the better. There is certainly more money around and the homes that do go on sale are snapped up by people from out of the area who use them as weekend retreats.
‘Also if you are a local person they are out of the price range for most people.’
While Clarkson was unhappy that supermarket chains have replaced local run shops others were pleased they had chosen to base themselves in the town.
Dad of two Darrell Broome said he could not afford to buy food from local stores with the Aldi a ‘lifesaver’.
The 47-year-old roofer said:’ Of course I would like to support local, but the prices are just too much.
‘We come to Aldi as it is affordale. I am sure many others feel the same way.’
Another shopper leaving Aldi said:’ There is obviously a demand for the supermarkets otherwise they would be empty.’