Tuesday 9 August 2022 11:28 AM How Jeremy Clarkson used a 'cunning loophole' to finally open his Diddly Squat ... trends now
Jeremy Clarkson's £69-a-head restaurant was finally opened after months of wrangling thanks to a 'delightful little loophole' that allowed him to circumvent traditional planning laws.
The Clarkson's Farm star's planned 'Diddly Squat' eatery in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, had long been hampered by furious residents and the local planning authority.
But the former Top Gear presenter surprised fans last month when he announced he had found a 'delightful little loophole' that would allow him to open for business.
Mr Clarkson had initially told reporters last month: 'We found a cunning little loophole - it’s a weight off my shoulders and appeals to my anti-establishment bent'.
But West Oxfordshire District Council say they are investigating the restaurant after councillors rejected its initial planning application in January.
One council source, who refused to comment on the local authority's ongoing investigation, told MailOnline: 'The council’s view is that the same planning rules should apply to everybody.
‘We will treat Jeremy Clarkson in the exact same way as any other resident of West Oxfordshire.'
Jeremy Clarkson's £69-a-head restaurant was finally opened after months of wrangling thanks to a 'delightful little loophole' that allowed him to circumvent traditional planning laws
The Clarkson's Farm star's 'Diddly Squat' eatery in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, (pictured above) has long been hampered by furious residents and the local planning authority
It is believed that Mr Clarkson may have pursued changes to his barn using a Class R permitted development clause - which allows the use of farm structures to be tweaked from their original purpose without council-approved planning permission.
Class R permits the change of any agricultural building into a commercial retail unit, restaurant or café provided the conversion does not exceed 500sqm.
Mr Clarkson explained the process to reporters in July: 'You can write to your council and inform them that you are changing a barn’s use. It’s called permitted development... We happen to have a barn which met every single one of the criteria.'
The Top Gear star had angrily clashed with West Oxfordshire District Council officials who initially rejected his bid for a new restaurant at a planning meeting in January.
Before leaving the council building he said one planning officer, who recommended