EXCLUSIVE Jeremy Clarkson finally gets one over on the council! Star opens new car park at Diddly Squat farm to cope with the crowds flocking to visit his shop (but it immediately becomes jam-packed)
Jeremy Clarkson has finally opened the new car park at his Diddly Squat farm to cope with the crowds flocking to visit his wildly popular shop… but immediately it became jammed full with two hour waits to get in.
The TV presenter turned farmer personally oversaw the construction of the new facility as was spotted at the site wearing a hard hat and fluorescent high vis jacket to inspect the works before it opened today.
The creation of the new parking area in an adjacent field was finally approved by West Oxfordshire district council in June in a rare planning victory for the star.
They previously refused him permission to extend the car park and open a restaurant because it the farm is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
But the consequence of that ruling was dozens of cars parked up along the verge of surrounding country roads, gouging out earth and causing a hazard for and delays for residents of the nearby village of Chadlington.
Queues formed outside Jeremy Clarkson’s popular Diddy Farm Squat Shop. The newly laid car park becoming jammed full – with two hour waits to get a space
Petrolheads have been warned by a council not to cause traffic chaos by parking near Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm (pictured)
The creation of the new parking area in an adjacent field was finally approved by West Oxfordshire district council in June in a rare planning victory for the star (Pictured: Clarkson overseeing the work)
The car park as Diddly Squat Farm Shop was used for the first time after planning permission was given – but quickly became overwhelmed
READ MORE: Jeremy Clarkson films scenes for his Amazon Prime series at the Diddly Squat farm shop amid battle with council to extend car park
However, any hopes that the newly-created additional 70 parking spaces would relieve pressure on choked country lanes around his Diddly Squat Farm Shop look doomed.
With the summer holidays in full swing and fine weather, the new car park quickly proved totally insufficient to cope with the legions of fans arriving – even though there was no chance of a glimpse of Clarkson as he is away on a luxury holiday with partner Lisa Hogan.
Staff were soon forced to open another field where a further 100 cars could park on grass just a five-minute walk away.
The huge wait didn’t dampen the mood of fans of the TV show, Clarkson’s Farm, which is currently shooting its third series.
The Fleetwood family from Norwich said their entire summer holiday plans had revolved around visiting Clarkson’s farm.
Mum Suzanne said: ‘We love the show and when we were talking about where to go on our annual caravan holiday, our son Jack said it had to be close to Diddly Squat Farm so here we are.’
Jack, 11, said: ‘I have always wanted to come here since I started watching the show. I just find it hilarious watching Clarkson trying to farm.’
His Dad, Peter, 48, an electrician, said: ‘I can remember queueing for a very long time at Disneyland in Florida and at the opening of the Lego shop in London but this is right up there.
‘We have farmers in the family and they all love the show. He’s done a great job in highlighting the issues.
Sharing a picture of damaged verges next to the site, Oxfordshire County Council posted: ‘If you’re visiting Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm Shop in Chadlington from tomorrow, please park safely and considerately’
A number of cars were left on boggy mounds on the side of a road outside Diddly Squat which have deteriorated as more and more people flock to visit – pictured on March 17
Scores of vehicles again descended on the popular Oxfordshire site last week, with long queues forming outside the Amazon presenter’s farm shop
‘It seems crazy that a little shop is worth more than all the other acres, but that’s the world we live in.’
Those in the queue compared it to a theme park, only one with no apps predicting the wait time.
Ian Relph, 51, and wife Sarah, 40, were on a week-long Cotswold holiday with children Luke, 13 and Fletcher, six.
Luke said: ‘I don’t know how long it will take to reach the front. I only hope that I don’t end up with diddly squat.’
Mum Sarah, a marketing exec, said: ‘The only time I can remember queueing this long was for the Colossus ride at Thorpe Park.’
Dad Ian, an IT project manager, added: ‘I knew it was going to be a big queue but this is incredible.’
His sister-in-law, Anita Walkinshaw from south Wales, added: ‘I hope to buy a bottle of beer and I’ll turn it into a candle holder as a keepsake.’
Relph Mark Bone, 45, recently retired from the army air corps, was at the back of the queue with his son Ryley, 10.
The extension of parking at the site of the hit Amazon Prime TV show has previously been a point of controversy
Jeremy Clarkson outside his Diddly Squat farm shop in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
The farm’s lack of suitable facilities to cater for such an influx of customers is again laid bare
The pair had driven for 90 minutes from Andover, Hampshire to see the famous farm for themselves.
Mark said: ‘I have followed his battles on the programme and to see him overcoming all the hurdles to get this car park laid is really impressive.
‘It is a sad state of affairs when it takes a media personality to draw attention to the plight of farmers but he’s done a brilliant job raising awareness.’
Ryley added: ‘I like farming and have watched Top Gear so it is nice to see him doing something else. He makes me laugh.’
Those who had been before had come prepared.
Sam Perryman, 35 and friend Becca Simpson, 36, brought chairs with them to ease the wait and Becca visited the farm shop bar for a pint to help her through.
Sam, a housing officer, said: ‘We came down from Liverpool for this. We queued for three hours in 2021 so we knew what to expect.
‘Having seen the show, it’s great to experience it. It’s just something to do in the summer holidays.’
A two-day Planning Inspectorate meeting was held last week to consider proposals by the 62-year-old former Top Gear presenter to accommodate 70 more vehicles
Her son, Mikey Perryman, aged eight, said: ‘I can’t wait to spend my £20 in the farm shop. I am looking for souvenirs for my family.
‘I love the show. It makes me laugh, especially the bit where Jeremy has to put his hand up a cow.’
Early risers were able to get into the shop and out again by lunchtime.
Andrew and Debbie Edwards had visited from Swansea as a birthday treat for bank employee Andrew.
‘I think it took us two hours to get in,’ said Andrew, 55. ‘I wouldn’t do it again but we both enjoy the show and wanted to see it for ourselves.’They had bought a Cornish Pasty, chilli chutney, strawberry jam and mango chutney.
‘It came to more than £20,’ said Debbie, 58, ‘but everything is expensive these days.’
Firefighter Liam Hancock had been left looking after the dogs while his partner Laura Powell had gone into the shop.
‘We did not realise it would be quite this busy,’ he said. ‘This is our first stop on a day out in the Cotswolds having driven down from Leicester.’
Laura emerged with a bag of goodies including a pork pie, honey whiskey, lager, cider and chilli jam.
She said: ‘It was a bit over-priced, especially the bag which was £19, but I guess it is doing our bit to help farmers.
‘I thought the shop would be bigger but I don’t think he is allowed to extend. I honestly feel quite sorry for him with all the obstacles that have been put in his way.’
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